Mortara Wins Action Packed DTM Season Opener

Nico Muller took pole position in qualifying for Race 1 at Hockenheim as Audi continued their domination of the circuit this weekend with four Audi drivers in the top 5. The German followed up his very successful Free Practice sessions with a belter of a lap clocking in at 1m33.876s. His fellow Audi driver Eduardo Mortara finished second 0.225s behind the German. Third was Canadian Mercedes driver Robert Wickens only a fractional 0.004s behind Mortara followed by series favourite Jamie Green who was a remarkable 0.001s behind Wickens.

Fifth was Mike Rockenfeller who did well despite a frustrating beginning to the session where he was blocked by rookie Esteban Ocon and the German did not hold back on his feelings with an expletive ridden team radio message. BMW had a very poor session with their highest placed driver being Wittmann in tenth. Seasoned veterans Ekstrom and Paffett had only a ninth and eleventh respectively to show for their battling performances in qualifying. Both of them at war with their own cars as they slid and fought with their drivers during the session. Esteban Ocon drove home in twelfth. The hot prospect hailing from France having a fairly average session.

Lucas Auer did not compete in Qualifying after going off track in FP2.

Full Results
1 Nico Müller
2 Edoardo Mortara
3 Robert Wickens
4 Jamie Green
5 Mike Rockenfeller
6 Christian Vietoris
7 Paul Di Resta
8 Miguel Molina
9 Mattias Ekström
10 Marco Wittmann
11 Gary Paffett
12 Esteban Ocon
13 Bruno Spengler
14 Daniel Juncadella
15 Augusto Farfus
16 Timo Glock
17 Tom Blomqvist
18 Timo Scheider
19 Maximilian Götz
20 António Félix da Costa
21 Maxime Martin
22 Martin Tomczyk
23 Adrien Tambay
DNS Lucas Auer

Race 1

Edoardo Mortara stormed to victory at the first race of the season at Hockenheim. The Italian driver took Race 1 and the fourth race of his career in style. He overtook polesitter Nico Muller on the first corner and led right up to the finish as chaos ensued behind him.

Second was Robert Wickens. On the first lap he was overtaken by Green on the run down to the hairpin however he got the place back very quickly and he remained where he qualified (in third) for about the next one third of the race before making the most of DRS on the long straight before the hairpin to pass Nico Muller. The Canadian sealed the move on the exit and Muller gave him limited hassle for the rest of the race and Wickens took an uncontested second place. Muller went backwards from pole finishing third. He lost out to a flying Mortara at the start but just about managed to hold off Wickens going into turn one by covering the inside line. Later Wickens overtook him and the polesitter had to settle for third.

Mortara Hockenheim Again

Fourth was Paul Di Resta. He benefited from the eventful first few laps to take fourth place. Vietoris later overtook him with a neat move at the hairpin before Di Resta easily re-overtook Vietoris in the latter stages of the race as his fellow Mercedes driver ran into issues. Despite these issues Vietoris still came fifth making him the third Mercedes in the top five. Sixth and the highest placed BMW in the standings was Bruno Spengler. He had an absolutely stunning start from 13th taking advantage of the chaos around him to shoot up the order into sixth and the Canadian drove consistently and without fault until the finish.

Antonio Felix Da Costa had a very eventful race. He was among the chaos at the start. Starting in 20th the Portuguese driver, Glock and Scheider ran wide at turn two and coming out of turn 3 Da Costa appeared to force Scheider wide forcing the German to bounce over the kerb damaging Scheider’s car and ultimately putting him out of the race. He received no penalty and this began his amazing fight up the field. He battled his way past cars and with other cars out of the race he already was further up the field. His whole fight back was crowned by a great overtake on Mattias Ekstrom for seventh.

Maxime Martin came eighth. His race was a path not dissimilar to Da Costa and the German gained exactly the same number of places as Da Costa after startng in 21st. However he did it with no drama involved. The same could not be said for two time world champion Mattias Ekstrom. The Swede came ninth but had a colossal battle to get there. He hovered around seventh for a while before Paffett managed to get past both him and Martin Tomczyk at the same corner. Ekstrom then forced his way past at the hairpin in a very unfair looking maneuver which he only received a reprimand for. This dented his and Paffett’s bodywork. The Swede was then overtaken again by Da Costa and Paffett at the hairpin after vehemently defending from the two. Da Costa managed to get into seventh and Paffett was in eighth. Ekstrom then pulled off another questionable move on Paffett forcing the Englishman wide and causing him to tumble down four places in the order. Ekstrom then lost out to Martin and the Swede finished an eventful race in ninth

Rounding off the top 10 was Miguel Molina. His start was poor and he dropped down to eleventh before overtaking Paffett for 10th and finishing that way. Gary Paffett just missed out on the points after his trouble with Ekstrom. Martin Tomczyk had a remarkable start from 22nd and was up as high as eighth before a mechanical fault forced him back down the order. This was fixed and he managed to finish in 12th. Tom Blomqvist came thirteenth after a bad start. At the final corner on the first lap he was spun and hit by Adrien Tambay. He soldiered on despite the issues. Fourteenth was Augusto Farfus who was spun on lap one at the hairpin by Esteban Ocon and the Brazilian could only finish in a lowly fourteenth. But his race did not go out without a spark after he and Jamie Green battled spectacularly towards the end of the race. Farfus aggressively defended his fourteenth before Green passed him on the hairpin only for the British driver to run wide and hand the position back. The two were still at it towards the very end but it was Farfus who took the win.

Nico Muller Hockenheim

Jamie Green had a disastrous race. He started fourth he got up into third but fell back to fourth before Mattias Ekstrom took him out from behind forcing him wide onto the gravel and down into sixteenth. The afternoon got worse for him when under the Slow Zone he made contact with Antonio Felix Da Costa forcing the Portuguese driver wide and for the incident he received a drive through. Green still proved that he was fighting until the very end after a great battle with Farfus towards the tail end of the race. Wittman came last of the remaining cars after struggling all race long and after punting Green off the track.

Into the retired cars now. Lucas Auer retired after a mechanical fault. He was having a great race despite starting from the pits and was in the points until a piece of Gary Paffett’s bodywork got stuck in his grill. The second time Auer pitted he was forced to retire. Timo Glock and Daniel Juncadella both retired after Juncadella lost control of his car hit Glock and put the two in the gravel trap which brought out the slow zone. Timo Scheider retired after hitting a bump which damaged his car beyond repair. Esteban Ocon retired after spinning Farfus on lap one at the hairpin. Maximillian Gotz beeched himself in the gravel trap after going for a non-existing gap on the inside of Jamie Green, making contact with him and spinning him out of the race. The incident was definitely Gotz’s fault. Mike Rockenfeller suffered a broken suspension and retired and Adrien Tambay’s race ended in misery after hitting Tom Blomqvist’s car on lap one.

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