Wickens wins Nürburgring DTM race

DTM action (Photo by DTM)Robert Wickens scored his first win of the season at the Nürburgring on Sunday.

The Mercedes-AMG driver had started the 14th race of the season from third place on the grid and crossed the finish line as the winner after 40 laps. After the clean sweep of the top four on Saturday, the Stuttgart-based brand scored a 1-2 with Paul Di Resta finishing second this time. For the Canadian, it was his sixth victory in his 80th DTM race. Defending champion Marco Wittmann rounded out the podium in the Eifel by finishing third. The BMW works driver kept his title chances alive.

“That was a hard-fought win,” Wickens commented after the race. “I had a great battle with Marco. The race was demanding, but it was great fun.” In the DTM drivers’ standings, everything is still open after 14 of this season’s 18 races. Having started from 13th place, Audi driver Mattias Ekström finished in sixth place and slightly extended his championship lead while Lucas Auer, second in the standings, lost his chances of a possible podium finish after spinning out on his own in the early stages of the race. Next to the Austrian, René Rast, the third-placed in the drivers’ standings, didn’t score any points either. Due to a penalty, the Audi driver had to start from the back and never got close to the point-scoring positions.

After the rain lottery on Saturday, the race on Sunday took place in dry conditions. Wittmann, who had started from pole position, first was the hunter, but then was the prey. After losing out to Paul Di Resta in the duel at the start, he closed the gap to the leader again and was able to claim back first place on lap 15. However, his joy only was a brief affair: three laps later, the two times’ champion had to hand his position to eventual race winner Wickens. Wittmann did try to attack the Canadian in the remaining race time, but had to give up another position to Di Resta on lap 35. “Towards the end of the race, I didn’t have a chance against the Mercedes,” Wittmann summed up. “Paul was extremely fast. During the race, I was still confident that I could still win the race, but eventually, my front tyres degraded more and more. There was nothing I could do.”

With four races remaining, the battle for the DTM drivers’ title remains thrilling: Ekström is leading with 136 points from Auer (127), Rast (124), Wittmann (115), Green (113), Rockenfeller (110) and Glock (108). With 112 points still at stake in the four races and qualifying sessions, approximately ten drivers still have realistic chances of winning the title.

The battle for the DTM title continues at Spielberg in Austria in a fortnight. At the Red Bull Ring, the 15th and 16th race of the season will be taking place from 22-24 September. The grand finale will be held at Hockenheim mid-October.

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