The DTM has a new champion: Marco Wittmann (DE) of BMW Team RMG wrapped up the title in the Drivers’ Championship in the eighth round of the ten-race season at the Lausitzring (DE). Sixth place on Sunday was sufficient for the 24-year-old, at the wheel of the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, to ensure he can no longer be caught by his rivals. Wittmann started from seventh place, and once again produced a flawless race in difficult conditions to pick up eight points at the end of the 52-lap race and take the final step towards the title.
Wittmann follows in the footsteps of Volker Strycek (DE, 1984), Eric van de Poele (BE, 1987), Roberto Ravaglia (IT, 1989) and Bruno Spengler (CA, 2012), who have all triumphed in this series for BMW. Taking all manufacturers into consideration, he is the third-youngest DTM champion of all time. Wittmann’s success also marks the first time in the history of the “new” DTM – since 2000 – that a driver has been crowned champion in only his second year. Only Bernd Schneider (DE) had previously managed to secure the title three races before the end of the season back in 2001.
In winning the title, Wittmann continued a special tradition: whenever BMW has appeared in the DTM with a new model, the title in the Drivers’ Championship has ultimately gone to Munich (DE) at the end of the season. After Strycek’s success with the BMW 635 CSi in 1984, van de Poele repeated the feat with the BMW M3 in 1987, and Spengler continued the tradition with the BMW M3 DTM in 2012. Wittmann has now ensured that the first year of the new BMW M4 DTM will also go down as a golden debut season.
He now has 128 points to his name, and a 69-point lead over second-placed Christian Vietoris (DE, Mercedes). BMW Team RMG also tops the Team standings with 167 points, giving it a 75-point cushion ahead of its closest rivals. And BMW also leads the Manufacturers’ Championship with 320 points.
Behind the new champion, Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) and Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) also finished in the points in seventh and eighth at the Lausitzring. Both drivers were rewarded for fighting back strongly from 20th and 23rd on the grid respectively. Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM), Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) and Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM) came home 11th, 14th and 15th. The two BMW Team MTEK drivers, Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) and António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM), failed to finish. Victory at the 3.478-kilometre circuit went to Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein (DE).
Wittmann can now enjoy the remaining races in Zandvoort (NL) and Hockenheim (DE) as the DTM champion. The young German caught the eye in the very first race of the year, winning the season-opener at the Hockenheimring – and he went on to add a further three victories over the course of the season. At just 24 years and 294 days, Wittmann is the youngest DTM champion in BMW colours, and the youngest ever champion from Germany.
Marco Wittmann (BMW Team RMG, 2014 DTM Champion):
“Unbelievable. This is an absolutely awesome feeling. The constantly changing conditions made it a really difficult race today. There were a lot of battles, and I just tried to stay out of bother. A few drivers skidded off the track and it was topsy-turvy at times. After yesterday I did not really believe that it would work out today. On the whole, however, we were able to drive a clean race. I am so emotional now, it is crazy. The season has been incredible so far. I am so proud of BMW Team RMG and BMW Motorsport. Everyone has done a sensational job. The pit stop was superb again today. To already know that I am the champion is amazing. I think we will have a fantastic party today.”
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“It is difficult to find words today to describe Marco Wittmann’s performance. That goes not only for today’s race, but also the entire season. In a race that was heated at times, he always kept a cool head and showed the perfect combination of aggression and control. Marco fully deserves to be crowned champion so early in the season. The BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG and he have formed the perfect unit right from the start of the season. We have continued the tradition of winning the title in the first season with every new car we have fielded in the DTM. This is something we are very proud of. Marco is the youngest German champion of all time, and hardly anyone has ever wrapped up the title so early in a season – and all in just his second year in the DTM. An absolutely mega achievement. Congratulations to Marco, but also to Stefan Reinhold’s BMW Team RMG, who have worked hard for this success. Today we will celebrate our success here at the Lausitzring. This is a good venue for us. After claiming our first win since returning to the series and the 50th ever for BMW here in 2012, we can now celebrate the first title for the BMW M4 DTM.”
Facts and figures from the Lausitzring:
|Circuit / Date||Lausitzring / 14th September 2014|
|Laps / Distance||52 laps / 3.478km|
|2014 Pole Time||Pascal Wehrlein (DE), 1:17.547 minutes|
|2014 Winner||Pascal Wehrlein (GB), Mercedes|
|2014 Fastest Lap||Timo Scheider (DE), 1:19.782 minutes|
|Team||BMW Team RBM||BMW Team RBM||BMW Team Schnitzer||BMW Team Schnitzer||BMW Team MTEK||BMW Team MTEK||BMW Team RMG||BMW Team RMG|
|Weights||+10 kg||+7.5 kg||+10 kg||+10 kg||+10 kg||+5 kg||+10 kg||+10 kg|
DTM standings after 8 of 10 races.
1. Marco Wittmann (128 points), 2. Christian Vietoris (59), 3. Mattias Ekström (56), 4. Edoardo Mortara (56), 5. Mike Rockenfeller (54), 6. Bruno Spengler (42), 7. Pascal Wehrlein (40), 8. Maxime Martin (39), 9. Augusto Farfus (39), 10. Robert Wickens (35), 11. Adrien Tambay (36), 12. Timo Scheider (34), 13. Timo Glock (33), 14. Miguel Molina (28), 15. Jamie Green (28), 16. Martin Tomczyk (28), 17. Paul di Resta (17), 18. Daniel Juncadella (22), 19. Nico Müller (10), 20. Joey Hand (7), 21. António Félix da Costa (4), 22. Gary Paffett (4).
1. BMW Team RMG (167 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt (92), 3. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (88), 4. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline (84), 5. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (83), 6. BMW Team Schnitzer (70), 7. BMW Team RBM (46), 8. EURONICS / FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG (41), 9. gooix Mercedes AMG (40), 10. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (38), 11. BMW Team MTEK (37), 12. Petronas Mercedes AMG (22).
1. BMW (320 points), 2. Audi (302), 3. Mercedes-Benz (186).
4th May – Hockenheim (DE), 18th May – Oschersleben (DE), 1st June – Budapest (HU), 29th June – Norisring (DE), 13th July – Moscow (RU), 3rd August – Spielberg (AT), 17th August – Nürburgring (DE), 14th September – Lausitzring (DE), 28th September – Zandvoort (NL), 19th October – Hockenheim (DE).