06. Februar 2017

Wittmann unlucky on Australia debut

Despite a flawless performance at the 12 Hours of Bathurst, technical issues meant that the BMW Team SRM of DTM Champion Marco Wittmann was not rewarded with a good position. They finished in 14th place at the Mount Panorama Circuit, which in no way reflected the outstanding driving performance of Wittmann and his two team-mates Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom.

The weekend got off to a promising start. In the fourth free practice session, Wittmann got the best time, and in qualifying on Saturday, the BMW works driver displayed his class as he secured third place on the grid for his team. When the race got underway at 5:45 p.m. local time, the BMW M6 GT3 with car number 60 initially asserted itself among the frontrunners.

However, steering problems developed as the race went on, which forced the team to make a longer stop for repairs. The resulting deficit of several laps was impossible to make up. But the team battled to the end, and crossed the finish line in 14th place after 281 laps and twelve hours.

„It was a difficult race – and overall a great experience here in Australia,“ said Wittmann. „This event is so much fun. My first stint was good; the pace was right. But then we suffered a technical issue, which kept setting us back as the race went on. But we didn’t give up, we kept pushing. Which meant we at least finished in 14th place, although naturally we banked on more having started from third on the grid.“

And the other three BMW M6 GT3 were also plagued by misfortune at the Mount Panorama Circuit. Both the second car of BMW Team SRM with Wittmann’s DTM colleague Timo Glock at the wheel, and the BMW M6 GT3 of MARC Cars Australia retired early. However, it was Walkenhorst Motorsport who were hit particularly hard. After a collision in qualifying, the weekend ended for the entire team before the race even started.