Photo: BMW Motorsport

Marco Wittmann hails team effort to win from the back of the grid

Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann charged up the order in Saturday’s Race 1 at Misano to take his second DTM victory of the season, a result that didn’t seem possible after the BMW driver hit trouble during qualifying.

Engine issues prevented Wittmann from running a single lap during the session, with the Team RMG driver starting the race from the back of the grid.

“I was obviously very disappointed not to have set a lap time in qualifying,” said Wittmann. “We had to take a huge risk, as I started the race from last place.”

Wittmann bet on a safety car intervention, performing his compulsory tyre change at the end of the first lap.

“We stopped early, without knowing for certain whether we could complete the full race on just one set of tyres,” added Wittmann.

Nevertheless, the 29-year-old kept his head down, nursing the tyres to stay in front and with enough advantage to face the performance drop towards the end. The Team RMG hailed his mechanics for the effort.

“The final five or six laps were obviously critical, but it worked out in the end and we won the race,” said Wittmann. “That is fantastic, particularly for my team, who had to pull out all the stops to get the car ready for the race after qualifying. I’d like to thank my team: That was simply superb!”

Wittmann is second in the drivers’ championship, seven points behind Audi’s René Rast.

“We took a big strategic risk with his early stop however, Marco paced the tyres superbly. He really looked after his tyres well today,” said BMW Motorsport Vehicle Development general manager Rudolf Dittrich.

BMW Motorsport is now second in the manufacturers’ championship on 231 points, 41 behind Audi Sport.