Marco Wittmann is the new DTM champion, bitter victory for Mortara
For the second time in his career, Marco Wittmann won the DTM title. The BMW driver, who also was a champion in 2014, kept his lead to Edoardo Mortara and added another trophy to his collection. Edoardo Morata won the last race of the season at Hockenheim, what was his 5th triumph in 2016, but the Audi driver finished the season just four points behind Wittmann. Interestingly, just like in 2015, the driver who scored most wins in the season finished as a vice-champion.
For the second time this weekend Antonio Felix da Costa started from pole position while the title contenders Wittmann and Mortara started from the third row as they held positions 5 and 6 respectively. At the same time, this was the last DTM race for Timo Scheider, Martin Tomczyk, and da Costa as they are leaving the series.
The start of the race was very exciting. Wittmann immediately moved up to the 3rd position while Mortara struggled for a while. However, the Italian in Audi quickly recovered and soon he was 4th. The things became even more interesting after Gary Paffett pushed da Costa out of the track to take the lead. The former champion was penalized with a drive-through so Wittmann and Mortara now were at the top of the grid.
Edo was so determinate to take the lead and Wittmann had no chance to defend. The Audi driver took the lead bu there still was 50 minutes of racing. Anyway, Wittmann still had a title trophy in his hands if he finishes at least 5th.
Before the mandatory pit-stop, Mortara had a strong five-second advantage but he was followed by five BMW’s and needed a huge amount of luck to win the title. Mortara kept his lead after pit-stop while Wittmann dropped to the 7th but he could move up to the 5th as the two Audis in front of him still had to pit.
With 15 minutes remaining, everything was set for Wittmann’s celebration. He moved up to the 4th position and only what he needed was to be calm as he had three BMW drivers protecting his back. Nothing has changed in the last quarter of the race. Mortara won the race ahead of Mercedes’ drivers Christian Vietoris and Paul Di Resta, but Wittmann who finished 4th was the one who was the happiest.
As a consolation, Audi won the Manufacturers’ championship title while Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline won the Teams’ championship.