Nuremberg/Germany, 23rd June 2018 – Edoardo Mortara started Saturday’s opening race at the Norisring from pole position and took full advantage to lead from the word go, courtesy of a good start. The 31-year-old came in for his mandatory pit stop and a fresh set of Hankook race tyres on lap nine. He then fended off the BMW of Marco Wittmann, who had come in for his new Hankook slicks two laps earlier, on lap seven. After 68 laps of competitive racing, Mortara crossed the line first in his 100th DTM race, closely followed by fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett, who just edged out two-time DTM champion Wittmann to take second place. The best of the Audi drivers in eleventh place was Jamie Green, who has four wins to his name at the only street circuit in Germany.
Second place was enough for Britain’s Gary Paffett to take the championship lead, ahead of Timo Glock (BMW), who had to settle for tenth place in the “German Monaco”. Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “Saturday’s race at the Norisring once again showed just how evenly matched the DTM is. It is impossible to predict. Every race is wide open. That is largely down to the Hankook race tyres, which offer all the drivers optimal support and allow them to employ their own different tactics on any DTM track.”
Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-Benz): “We stopped early and then did 59 laps on the same set of Hankook race tyres. That meant that I had to be a bit careful not to ask too much of the slicks. However, it all worked perfectly and I am really happy to have taken my tenth win in my 100th DTM race.”
Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz): “The Hankook race tyres worked well. I had good grip really quickly, especially after my pit stop, when Philipp Eng was hot on my heels. I was able to hold him off and then to overtake Marco. I hope Sunday is just as good.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW): “I had a good start and was able to put Edoardo under a lot of pressure. However, with only four corners, it is extremely difficult to get the Hankook race tyres up to the ideal temperature at the Norisring. I managed that well, but unfortunately the Mercedes-Benz were a little quicker than me towards the end of the race. Despite this, it feels cool to be on the podium for the first time at my home race.”