BMW’s Marco Wittmann kick-started his DTM season with a win in the first race of the second round at the Red Bull Ring after holding off stablemate Tom Blomqvist throughout.
Wittmann, the 2014 champion, converted his pole position into the lead in his RMG-run M4 DTM and, although Blomqvist spent much of the race within half a second, he never seriously threatened to take the lead, finishing 0.7 seconds adrift.
Post-qualifying performance weight went against BMW, with the eight Munich machines gaining 5kg and the opposition losing 5kg, leaving them 2.5kg heavier than the Audis and Mercedes, but that didn’t stop the M4s taking five of the top six positions.
Only Audi’s Edoardo Mortara kept them on their toes. The Italian threatened for much of the race in his Abt-run RS5 DTM, but then had to turn his attentions to fending off a mid-race attack from Timo Glock.
Glock then faded, although he still comfortably kept Martin Tomczyk at bay, while Mortara then stayed large in the mirrors of second-placed Blomqvist.
Maxime Martin survived a first-corner brush with Mattias Ekstrom and Antonio Felix da Costa, which thrust Ekstrom to the back of the field.
The Belgian then passed championship leader Paul di Resta’s Mercedes for seventh on lap two, before hunting down the Audi of Adrien Tambay.
Martin pulled off a pass on the run down to Turn 3 on the eighth lap, and the loss of momentum for Tambay allowed da Costa to slip through mid-turn, but this was under yellows after Daniel Juncadella had parked his Mercedes with damage from a clash with Christian Vietoris.
Da Costa served a drive-through penalty for the offence, promoting di Resta – who meantime had passed Tambay – to seventh and allowing the Scot to maintain an overnight series lead by three points over Mortara.
The top 10 was rounded out by the BMW of Augusto Farfus and Audi man Nico Muller – Muller made good progress in a largely processional race from an early 14th to deprive Robert Wickens of the final point with 10 laps remaining.
RESULTS – 30 LAPS:
|7||Paul Di Resta||HWA||Mercedes||12.182s|
|22||Antonio Felix da Costa||Schnitzer||BMW||28.871s|