Marco Wittmann in the #11 M4 DTM started from pole and won the Saturday DTM race in the U.K. at Brands Hatch. On Sunday Philipp Eng, who came across the line fifth, was the best BMW finisher.
Wittmann’s Saturday win was not a runaway; Aston Martin’s Paul Di Resta led at the start as Wittmann and Audi’s Rene Rast fell back from their front row positions. Di Resta was later penalized for jumping the start. Wittmann led Rast after pit stops, but the Audi racer caught him late in the race; Wittmann was able to hold him off for the win. Philipp Eng in sixth and Sheldon van der Linde in eighth also scored points for BMW.
Audi dominated both qualifying and the race on Sunday; Eng, the best BMW qualifier, started ninth on the grid and worked his way up to fifth at the finish. BMW’s van der Linde finished seventh. Wittmann tried a two-stop strategy so he could run on fresh tires late in the race, but he was unable to gain ground. He scored a point with a tenth-place finish. The win went to Rast, the series’ points leader. Going into the next event at the Lausitzring on August 24–25, Wittmann is third in points and Eng is fourth.
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “Following Marco Wittmann’s magnificent victory yesterday, it was clear from the sobering qualifying session that it was not going to be easy to come through to the front of the field. However, our guys did a great job in the race, both out on the track and strategically. Compliments to Philipp Eng, who showed a very good race pace to finish fifth in these difficult circumstances. Sheldon van der Linde and Marco Wittmann did at least finish in the points. Despite this, it is still not a good haul. We were possibly a little faster than Audi in the race, but today showed quite clearly that you have to qualify higher up the grid in order to be able to turn that race pace into results. We must now examine very carefully why we did not achieve that this time, and must rectify the situation by the next race weekend at the Lausitzring. Congratulations to René Rast on the win.”—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]