DTM: Maxime Martin wins crazy Race 2 at Norisring
The DTM Race 2 at Norisring was the most exciting, most thrilling and most frantic event of the 2017 season so far and Maxime Martin was good and lucky enough to win it.
For the first time this season Tom Blomqvist started from pole position while behind the BMW driver were Robert Wickens in Mercedes and Nico Muller in Audi. On the positions from 4 to 6 again were the cars of all three manufacturers – BMW of Bruno Spengler, Audi of Mattias Ekstrom, and Mercedes of Lucas Auer.
Wickens profited from the poor start of Blomqvist and took the lead before Turn 1, while Spengler and Maxime Martin were behind him. Interestingly, no less than 10 drivers decided to pit in the opening five laps was a bit risky because the rain looked very likely. After 15 minutes of racing, only Edoardo Mortara and Loic Duval didn’t complete mandatory pit-stop and probably they were praying for the rain.
On lap 24 the safety car was deployed after a collision between Wickens and Rene Rast but both cars were able to continue the race from the back of the grid. When the race was restarted, Martin took the lead and quickly built a solid advantage. Bruno Spengler reported a puncture but what was the most important was the horrible crash of Gary Paffett.
Former champion hit the barriers in the run up to Grundig after contact with Green, slid off the track and collected Mike Rockenfeller at Grundig turn. Paffett’s Mercedes was completely destroyed but, luckily, both drivers were able to leave their cars and were transferred from the medical center to the hospital for further examination. The race was red-flagged for almost 30 minutes because the Armco barriers had to be repaired.
Video – Garry Paffet crashes at Norisring
The race was restarted with 25 minutes remaining for racing and Auer immediately took the lead from Martin while Wittmann and Ekstrom were behind, waiting for their chances. A couple of laps later, Martin gained back his lead. With five minutes to go, the top 4 were within two seconds.
Martin was pretty safe at the top and scored his first win of the season, Auer somehow kept the second position while Mortara profited from the battle between Ekstrom and Wittmann and completed the podium in the extraordinary photo-finish. Ekstrom finished 4th to keep the lead in the Championship, only two points ahead of Auer.
The reigning champion Wittmann had to settle for the 5th place in the most exciting race of the season, while the rest of the points were won by Paul Di Resta, Augusto Farfus, Jamie Green, Tom Blomqvist, and Timo Glock.
The next round of DTM series will go on July 22-23 at Moscow Raceway.