18. Mai 2019

Pole position followed by bad luck

For some time, it looked like Marco Wittmann would record another podium finish in Saturday’s race on the weekend marking the return of the DTM to Zolder. Chances of victory? Excellent! But then, a safety car phase put paid to the plans of the two-time champion.

The day had started perfectly for Wittmann. He recorded his second pole position of the season in qualifying for the third race. Everything was pointing towards a win. However, his team-mate Bruno Spengler made the better start, catapulting himself into the lead from third place on the grid. Wittmann was able to keep pace with Spengler, following him through every turn in second place. But then the safety car appeared on track – throwing the field into disarray. The reclassification saw all drivers who had already made their mandatory pit stop pushed up in the standings and Wittmann no longer had a chance of recording a top result as he still had to change tyres. BMW driver Philipp Eng then secured his first DTM win, followed by team-mate Joel Eriksson in second place.

“In general, starting from pole position and scoring three points makes that a good day,” reflects Wittmann. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best of starts – unlike Bruno Spengler, who began the race in sensational fashion from third place. I was on a good pace from then on and was able to follow Bruno easily when he was in first position. But unfortunately, the safety car wrecked my race. That is very annoying. I gave my all at the end to do as well as I could. I think we had the best racing pace but it wasn’t meant to be. Congratulations to Philipp Eng, Joel Eriksson and the BMW Team RBM on the one-two result!”

At the finish, his battling spirit and some impressive overtaking manoeuvres secured seventh place. However, the Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM displayed the pace required to claim victory. Now is the time to stay positive and concentrate on Sunday’s race.