GLOCK CELEBRATES SECOND DTM WIN – WEHRLEIN TAKES POINTS’ LEAD
After qualifying, joy and relieve were huge already and after the race, Timo Glock was overwhelmed for emotion. With clenched fists and loud cheers of joy, he crossed the finish line as the race winner in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. Glock had made maximum use of his pole position, had a good start and didn’t allow any of his rivals to put him under pressure. After 28 laps, the BMW driver celebrated the second DTM race win of his career. Glock: “This is just great! I had an excellent speed and thus was able to pull away. I want to thank my family in particular for giving me so much support in the past weeks that were quite difficult. This is simply a fantastic result. I am also very happy for my team MTEK.” The team had more than one reason to celebrate as Glock’s team-mate Bruno Spengler finished second, reviving his hopes in the battle for the DTM title. Completing the podium as the third BMW driver, António Félix da Costa also contributed to the perfect day for his manufacturer. He finished ahead of another M4 DTM, driven by Augusto Farfus, who came fourth. Thus, it was left to Pascal Wehrlein to make the headlines as the only non-BMW driver. The Mercedes-Benz driver claimed fifth place and thus took back the lead in the drivers’ standings. That, however, seemed to be in jeopardy halfway through the race.
The field had completed 14 laps of the track in the Magdeburger Börde when suddenly, Gary Paffett’s Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM became slow in 13th place. The Brit had to park his car in the pits. “I was having difficulties with the steering and was hardly able to turn the wheel,” Paffett explained his technical issue that also affected Wehrlein’s car shortly after the Brit had retired. “Initially, the power steering only failed in some of the corners. After 16 laps, it was gone altogether,” Wehrlein describes the problems that he was able to master in the remaining laps. “I had to fight hard to defend my position. But, after all, I have a big goal that I am working to achieve.” The 20-year-old came another step closer this time. He prevailed against last year’s champion Marco Wittmann in the battle for fifth place, scored ten valuable points and, like on the previous two race Saturdays, claims the lead in the drivers’ standings from Mattias Ekström. For the Swede and his fellow Audi drives, there was hardly any reason to be happy at Oschersleben so far. After his 23rd place on the grid, Ekström didn’t score any points and concluded the race in 14th positions. Miguel Molina was the best-placed Audi driver and the only one of them to score any points for Audi by finishing ninth. Mike Rockenfeller, Jamie Green and Nico Müller didn’t even make it to the finish of the race.
Glock made a good start and stayed out of all the battles in the tight chicane after the start and finish straight. Behind him, there were some heavy collisions. Augusto Farfus, who had started from second on the grid, locked up under braking, which also caused problems for BMW rookie Tom Blomqvist, who had started from third place. While the young Brit dropped back to eighth, Spengler used all his experience and a bit of luck to make it through the turmoil, moving up from fifth to third. In the midfield, Robert Wickens and Mike Rockenfeller were slightly too optimistic at the same time, causing Green and Nico Müller to spin, after which the safety car was deployed for the first time. Because there were debris in the first corner, the safety car led the field through the pitlane. At the restart at the end of lap four, Spengler overtook Félix da Costa for second, just before the safety car was deployed once again. After the collisions in the first corner, Wickens’s Mercedes-Benz had become damaged so heavily that the bonnet and other parts came loose on lap five and had to be removed from the track. Thus, the field completed twelve of the 40 minutes’ duration of the race behind the safety car before the racing action started in earnest. It turned into a triumph for BMW. With the exception of Wehrlein’s fifth place, the brand from Munich locked out the first eight positions. The fact that Glock was able to lead the white-and-blue phalanx as the winner, was also the result of the sportsmanlike spirit of his manufacturer. BMW refrained from imposing a team order to favour Spengler, who is better placed in the drivers’ standings. “For me, things were again going really well today, but there was no way for me to catch Timo. I am really happy for him,” the Canadian commented after the race.
In the drivers’ standings, Spengler remains in fifth place, but has considerably reduced the gap to the front-runners. With 103 points, he is now tied with Jamie Green. Edoardo Mortara is third with 110 points, Mattias Ekström remains second with 126 points after his poor result on Saturday and is now four points down on the new leader, Pascal Wehrlein. Whether the Swede will be able to strike back, just like in the previous weekend in Russia, will be shown tomorrow after qualifying (from 11.35 hrs) and the race (from 15.15 hrs).