Rain Ruins Race for BMW in Second Event of the 2014 DTM Championship

It was a terrible afternoon in Germany yesterday for BMW’s eight teams involved in this year’s 2014 DTM Championship. After a great qualifying run that allowed two Bimmer drivers to start from the first two lines of the grid, the end result of the race was rather disappointing.
BMW Team RBM DTM M4 1 photo
Photo: BMW
Marco Wittmann was supposed to start from second place for Team RMG on the Oschersleben at the wheel of his Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, having finished just 0.509 seconds slower than the leader, Miguel Molina from Audi. However, the Audi driver was disqualified after the qualifying runs and Marco advanced into pole position. It seemed like a promising start.

In fourth place came Antonio Felix da Costa, at first, the rookie managing to finish on the same place as last week, in the season opener, at Hockenheimring. Behind the wheel of his Red Bull M4, the Portuguese driver delivered a welcome surprise Saturday. Due to the same disqualification, he too got to move up a place, on third.

Unfortunately, rain would get in the way of the race on Sunday, completely thwarting the plans for the day. Everything turned into a tyre lottery, every team looking for the best solution. BMW wasn’t amongst the lucky ones that got them right.

Bad luck caused not one but three safety car periods, one of them exactly when Martin Tomczyk, Antonio Felix da Costa and Bruno Spengler were fighting for the podium, completely ruining their hopes for more points.

Marco Wittmann was off to a good start, ever pulling away from the group at first, perfectly defending his first place. However, after the first safety car period he skidded onto gravel in turn one and lost valuable time getting back on track.

On top of that, he dropped further down the field with a technical problem later on, eventually crossing the line in 19th. It could’ve been worse though. Timo Glock was out after just a few laps, following a battle with Mike Rockenfeller.

In the end, only two drivers finished in the points, Augusto Farfus finishing fifth and Martin Tomczyk ninth, keeping BMW in the fight for the Manufacturer’s title. Christian Vietoris from Mercedes-Benz ended up winning the race, after a crazy run from 16th place.

“The weather conditions made that an unbelievably eventful and hectic race – certainly one of the most exciting in recent years. We are obviously not happy with the result. However, it does not reflect the performance of the BMW M4 DTM. When you start from pole, you obviously want to win,” said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director, after the race.

“Things were going well on wet-weather tyres too at first, until the first safety car period. I got my braking a bit wrong when I tried to overtake Gary Paffett at the restart and lost a few places as a result. Later on the gears started sticking, which meant I had to make an unscheduled pit stop. There is a fine line between happiness and misfortune in motorsport,” said Marco Wittmann.

Following this disastrous race, the ranking changed rather drastically. In the Driver’s Standings, Mike Rockenfeller is now on first place with 30 points, followed by Christian Vietoris and Marco Wittmann, both of them with 25. In the Manufacturers’ standings, Audi is leading with 95 points followed by BMW with 66 and Mercedes-Benz with 41.

The next race is set to take place on June 1st, at Budapest, celebrating a comeback to the Hungaroring after 26 years of absence.
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