The hunt for the first podium finish

16. Mai 2018 Zurück zur Artikelübersicht »

After an unsatisfying start to the new DTM season with two eleventh-place finishes at the season-opener in Hockenheim, and scoring just two points for a second place in qualifying, the next race weekend at the Lausitzring will be dominated by the hunt for the first podium finish. This applies in two respects, as BMW driver Marco Wittmann is aiming not just for his first top 3 finish this year, but also his first ever one at Germany’s most easterly race track.

After eight starts in the Lausitz region, the best result to date for the Franconian driver was a fourth-place finish in 2016. Nonetheless, he is looking forward to visiting the circuit that lies about halfway between Berlin and Dresden, in an area formerly best known for mining lignite. “When I think of the Lausitzring, that reminds me of winning my first DTM title in 2014. That’s why I have such fond memories of the circuit,” says Wittmann. He “only” reached sixth place in that race but that was enough for him to secure the DTM championship title for the first time.

He will have to deliver an improved performance to kindle similar feelings of happiness this weekend. “Compared to Hockenheim, we must take a step forward and concentrate on improving our racing pace. We have seen that this can be done, as Timo was extremely good in Hockenheim. We have to do better at the Lausitzring,” says Wittmann. When talking about Timo, he is of course referring to Timo Glock, who is approaching the race as overall leader after a third-place finish and a win.

Above all, every DTM driver will have to get used to a new track layout. Previously, the start-finish straight lay mostly in the tight infield of the Lausitzring. Last used by the DTM in 2004, the new layout measures 4.570 kilometres in total (1,128 metres longer) and now contains one of the steep turns and a further fast straight from the tri-oval.

The DTM TV partner SAT.1 will again be broadcasting live from 13:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Both races will start at the new standard start time of 13:30. The qualifying sessions on Saturday (11:10) and Sunday (11:25), as well as the free practice sessions and the races, will all be streamed live on the website and in the official DTM app.