Clear victory in the manufacturers’ standingsAudi Sport Team Abt Sportsline wins teams’ classification
Final winner Edoardo Mortara lacks points from Zandvoort to win drivers’ title
Audi secured two of the three DTM titles in the finale at Hockenheim. For the third time, Audi is DTM manufacturers’ champion and for the fourth time, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is teams’ champion. In spite of his fifth victory this season, Audi campaigner Edoardo Mortara in the Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM missed the drivers’ title by a very narrow four-point margin.
“This was the bitterest victory I can remember,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “The ultimate disaster has occurred: We won the teams’ championship and the manufacturers’ championship, which is good. But in the drivers’ classification, we’re lacking fewer points than those that Edoardo Mortara unjustifiably lost at Zandvoort. This is a really bitter pill and hard to digest.”Flashback: In race nine of the season, at Zandvoort, Edoardo Mortara was in position six, trailing his brand colleague Jamie Green, when a drive-through penalty was imposed against the Italian due to an alleged violation of the slow-zone rules. That same night, race control admitted discrepancies in the official GPS system.
“Obviously, we’re sad that exactly these points are now lacking to win the title,” says Edoardo Mortara. “But I have to live with that. My team, my race engineer, my mechanics: All of them did a fantastic job this year and I felt very comfortable in my Audi RS 5 DTM. Winning the race was all I could do today. It was my fifth victory this year and I’m very proud of it.”
Like the day before, the new DTM vice champion thrilled the spectators with an impressive comeback. In spite of a technical issue in qualifying, Mortara, in grid position six, was the fastest Audi driver. In the race, he only needed six laps to advance to the front of the field and to subsequently clinch a dominant victory.
In the process, on lap six, Mortara also overtook Marco Wittmann, his direct rival in the title race. Although the BMW driver was not able to keep pace with Mortara, Wittmann in the end only needed a fourth place to narrowly win the drivers’ classification. The final result: 206:202.
In the manufacturers’ classification, Audi, with 700 points, clearly won out, trailed by BMW (647 points) and Mercedes-Benz (471 points). After 2004 and 2014, this marks Audi’s third win of the manufacturers’ title in the DTM. Like last year, having clinched ten victories in 18 races, the Audi RS 5 DTM is once more the most successful car of the season.
The teams’ classification, for the fourth time after 2004, 2007 and 2011, went to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline with Edoardo Mortara, Mattias Ekström and Mike Rockenfeller, who stood in for the new World Rallycross Champion Ekström in the finale at Hockenheim.Third place in the drivers’ standings was secured by Jamie Green, who in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg, following a tussle at the start, advanced from position 22 to eighth place. Besides Edoardo Mortara, he was the only Audi driver to score points on Sunday.
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM), Nico Müller (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Miguel Molina (Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM) just barely missed points in positions eleven, 13 and 14. René Rast (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), in position 17, saw the checkered flag as the best driver of Audi Sport Team Phoenix. Timo Scheider in the AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM, following a drive-through penalty finished his last DTM race in position 18. Adrien Tambay (Speedweek.com Audi RS 5 DTM) retired after a collision in the starting commotion.
“Even though we missed the drivers’ title so narrowly, it was a strong DTM season for Audi on the whole,” Dieter Gass says, summing up the year. “We had the strongest package and won a total of ten races, plus two of the three possible titles. I would like to express my thanks to everyone who worked hard to achieve this: to the entire team of Audi Sport in Neuburg and Neckarsulm. To our colleagues in Ingolstadt. To our three teams, our drivers and, obviously, our partners.”