BMW DTM driver Marco Wittmann marked his 30th birthday with a podium in the first joint event “SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race” at Fuji after he finished in second place in the Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM. Marco Wittmann marked his 30th birthday in big style. After a special morning celebration with a big anniversary cake in the presence of BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt and whole BMW DTM team, Wittmann embarked on an eventful race at Fuji.
The very first Dream Race combining SUPER GT and DTM championship contenders held at Fuji this weekend was an action packed tenure, with many deployments of the Safety Car and multiple collisions, which increased the dramatism of the whole event.
Fans were delighted to see many joyful on-track battles between the drivers, which also raised the stake and added to the uncertainty of the final standings. Marco Wittmann initially finished 3rd on the podium, but received a promotion to second place after Frenchman Audi driver Loïc Duval got a one-second penalty for a previous race incident.
In the end, the battle came to a close photo finish for the first three drivers. Former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan won the Fuji race for Honda, whereas Wittmann came in as the runner-up and Duval was relegated to third after being handed the penalty.
The other drivers taking part in the “SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race” were Kamui Kobayashi, who came home fifth in his RMG BMW M4 DTM, and Alessandro Zanardi, who brought his ZF BMW M4 DTM 13th in the overall standings. At times, Paralympic champion and BMW ambassador Zanardi managed to go up as high as second place, after starting 22nd in the dramatic Fuji race.
Jens Marquardt, the BMW Group Motorsport Director, concluded on the solid race performance for BMW at Fuji: “That is exactly the kind of race we wanted for our fans here in Japan – and, of course, for those watching in Europe. That was really great motorsport, although it was rather chaotic at times, but that is what the fans want to see. Our trip to Fuji was definitely worth the effort. Thank you to Bart Mampaey and everyone at BMW Team RBM. They all did a fantastic job, ensuring our three cars were running at the very highest level and performing great pit stops. Congratulations to Marco Wittmann – on his birthday, and second place here.”
The Fuji first-ever Dream Race rounds off a successful weekend for BMW Group Motorsport, after Alexander Sims took his first Formula E win in the Diriyah E-Prix.