Motorsports, News

Marco Wittmann guides the BMW M4 DTM to its maiden victory at the DTM season-opener


First race, first win: the new BMW M4 DTM opened its career with a dream result in Hockenheim (DE). After 42 laps of the 4.574-kilometre circuit, Marco Wittmann (DE) crossed the finish line first in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, as the DTM opened its anniversary season with an eventful race. Not only was it the 24-year-old’s first triumph in only his 11th DTM race, but also the maiden victory for BMW Team RMG and BMW’s 60th win in the series.

On 11th March 1984, over 30 years ago, it was Harald Grohs (DE) at the wheel of the BMW 635 CSi who won the very first race in the history of the DTM for BMW in Zolder. Three years later, Grohs also won when the new BMW M3 made its debut in Hockenheim. Wittmann’s success saw the BMW M4 DTM continue this tradition of new cars winning on their debut.


Six of the eight BMW M4 DTMs finished the race in the points. Timo Glock (DE) came home fifth in the DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM, followed by Bruno Spengler (CA) in the BMW Bank M4 DTM, Martin Tomczyk (DE) in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM and Augusto Farfus (BR) at the wheel of the Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM in places six through to eight. Joey Hand (US) also picked up a point, crossing the finish line in tenth in the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM.


The two rookies, Maxime Martin (BE) and António Félix da Costa (PT), remain yet to score their first points, having ended their DTM debuts in 20th and 21st respectively. Félix da Costa was enjoying an outstanding race in his Red Bull BMW M4 DTM, and was in reach for a podium position for long periods. However, a collision with Timo Scheider (DE, Audi) and the subsequent drive-through penalty saw the Portuguese driver drop well back. Problems with a loose wheel after his pit top, coupled with the ensuing drive-through penalty, cost Martin any chance of a better result.


Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“What a dream debut weekend for the BMW M4 DTM. To return to Hockenheim with the brand-new BMW M4 DTM and win the first race, half a year after the last victory with the BMW M3 DTM – it doesn’t get much better. At the same time, it is also a great maiden win for BMW Team RMG and Marco Wittmann, who drove an absolutely incredible race and was in a league of his own today. He controlled the entire race magnificently. It was a joy to watch him. However, there is also a lot of work behind this win. On the one hand, our team at BMW Motorsport has been working hard on the BMW M4 DTM for over a year. You never know exactly how good you are compared to the opposition until the first race. Therefore, we are very happy today. Also particularly worthy of mention is the fact that Stefan Reinhold’s entire team did a lot of testing and made some changes on the test bench over the winter – with great success, as you can see. They deserve a big compliment. We are also pleased to see a further five BMWs in the top ten, and with the 60th victory for BMW in the history of the DTM – in bright sunshine and in front of a big crowd in the grandstands. I feel sorry for António Félix da Costa who, up until the incident, had produced a very impressive DTM debut.”


Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), 2nd place “Finishing the race and then mounting the podium to top it off is obviously a successful start of the season. Before the next race we’ve still got a bit of work to do though in order to make the car even faster because we could tell that the BMW in particular were running really well too. But all in all, I’m very pleased.”

Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #16 (Audi Sport Team Abt), Adrien Tambay
Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #16 (Audi Sport Team Abt), Adrien Tambay

Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM), 3rd place “A very good weekend: the first pole position and the second podium in my DTM career. Starting the season like this is a nice reward for the guys who had a lot of work to do in the winter and often toiled away late into the night. The season could hardly have started any better.”


Results - 42 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team/Car      Time/Gap
 1.  Marco Wittmann          RMG BMW         1h06m40.548s
 2.  Mattias Ekstrom         Abt Audi            +12.869s
 3.  Adrien Tambay           Abt Audi            +14.879s
 4.  Mike Rockenfeller       Phoenix Audi        +17.593s
 5.  Timo Glock              MTEK BMW            +21.780s
 6.  Bruno Spengler          Schnitzer BMW       +23.513s
 7.  Martin Tomczyk          Schnitzer BMW       +24.082s
 8.  Augusto Farfus          RBM BMW             +24.913s
 9.  Timo Scheider           Phoenix Audi        +26.138s
10.  Joey Hand               RBM BMW             +34.759s
11.  Pascal Wehrlein         HWA Mercedes        +53.857s
12.  Gary Paffett            HWA Mercedes        +57.264s
13.  Miguel Molina           Abt Audi            +59.161s
14.  Paul di Resta           HWA Mercedes      +1m00.858s
15.  Christian Vietoris      HWA Mercedes      +1m02.062s
16.  Nico Muller             Rosberg Audi      +1m02.479s
17.  Vitaly Petrov           Mucke Mercedes    +1m06.591s
18.  Robert Wickens          HWA Mercedes      +1m11.152s
19.  Daniel Juncadella       Mucke Mercedes        +1 lap
20.  Maxime Martin           RMG BMW               +1 lap

     Antonio Felix da Costa  MTEK BMW             38 laps
     Edoardo Mortara         Abt Audi             31 laps
     Jamie Green             Rosberg Audi          2 laps