Nuremberg/Deutschland, 2nd July 2017 – The fans witnessed a spectacular race at the Norisring on Sunday. Few DTM races have provided such excitement and action-packed racing from the first second to the very last. The pit lane was a hectic scene shortly after the start. Many drivers came in for their mandatory tyre change in the opening laps, as the tyre wear at the only street circuit in Germany was very low and the slick provided by exclusive DTM partner Hankook offered a high level of grip over a long distance.
The many pit stops at the start of the race resulted in the lead changing hands regularly, until a collision between René Rast (Audi) and Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) resulted in the safety car making its first appearance on lap 24. Maxime Martin (BMW) took the lead at the restart, and led until the race was suspended following the big crash. Martin and Auer were embroiled in a thrilling battle after the next restart, with the Belgian eventually coming out on top to take the third win of his DTM career.
The battle for the final spot on the podium was a dramatic one. Mercedes-Benz driver Edoardo Mortara crossed the finish line third, just two thousandths of a second ahead of Mattias Ekström (Audi). Marco Wittmann (BMW) followed Ekström home just a few hundredths of a second back in fifth place. Ekström continues to lead the championship, followed by Auer and Martin.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “Rarely has there been such an exciting and spectacular DTM race as that in the recent past. It had a bit of everything that makes motorsport so unique. Exciting duels for the lead, a breath-taking conclusion to the battle for the final spot on the podium, and countless spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. The crash was a very big one, but it speaks volumes for the safety standards in the DTM that drivers came out of it relatively unscathed. After the early pit stops, the Hankook race tyre provided the drivers with a lot of grip for a very long distance. The high level of consistency shown by the tyre helped to make it a dramatic race right down to the finish.”
BMW Team RMR completed the fastest pit stop at the Norisring, in a time of 33.599 seconds. They are rewarded with 25 points towards the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award. The winning crew also receives three crates of beer at the next DTM race weekend at the Moscow Raceway.
Maxime Martin (BMW): “The Hankook race tyres were very good for me. Only at the beginning, when they were cold, did I have to take a little care. Lucas was also a little faster than me there. Once the tyres reached the optimal working temperature, I was able to push, overtake Lucas, and win the race. That was a really great win for me.”
Lucas Auer (Mercedes-Benz): “The set-up of our car was very good, which allowed me to bring the Hankook race tyre up to temperature very quickly and to go on the attack. Because the tyre wear is not so high at the Norisring, I was able to push right through to the finish, even despite the safety car phases and the red flag.”
Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-Benz): “I am very happy with my third place, and came to terms very well with the Hankook race tyre. You had to manage the tyres correctly after the restart, but I was able to pass Mattias and Marco on them at the finish and clinch the final spot on the podium at the last second.”
Mattias Ekström (Audi): “The car and the Hankook tyres were good. Had Marco not tried that manoeuvre in the final corner, I would have finished third and been on the podium. At least I defended my lead in the overall standings.”