Marco Wittmann is the new DTM champion. Fourth place in Sunday’s final race of the season at the Hockenheimring was sufficient for the 2014 champion to win a second title in what is probably the most popular international touring car series. Championship runner-up Edoardo Mortara (Audi) showed fantastic fighting spirit to claim his fifth win of the season in the final race. Despite this success, the 29-year-old Swiss driver was unable to haul in championship leader Wittmann. Just as it has all season, the race tyre provided by premium tyre maker Hankook produced an impressive display. The consistent high quality of the tyre ensured that the battle for the DTM championship was one of the most exciting ever.Hockenheim/Germany, 16 October 2016
Blessed with glorious sunshine, spectators at the Hockenheimring witnessed an eventful start to the final race of the DTM season. Edoardo Mortara, starting the race from sixth on the grid, risked everything at the start and took an early lead thanks to some skilful overtaking manoeuvres. After 39 laps, the Audi driver crossed the finish line first, over three seconds clear of Mercedes-Benz drivers Christian Vietoris and Paul Di Resta.
Marco Wittmann, who came into the race with a 17-point lead, avoided taking any risks and came home fourth. This was sufficient for the BMW driver to end the season four points ahead of Mortara and claim his second DTM title, having previously won in 2014. Jamie Green was the second best-placed Audi driver in eighth place and ended the season third overall. The best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in the Drivers’ Championship was Robert Wickens in fourth.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “We have seen a fantastic DTM season with a worthy champion. Marco Wittmann was simply the most consistent driver over the course of the season. Edoardo Mortara put up a great fight and made the championship exciting right down to the final seconds. That was a great advertisement for motorsport, and the DTM in particular. The Hankook race tyre was impressive from the first race to the last, and gave the drivers the speed and safety they need to produce such an exciting season.”
BMW Team MTEK completed the fastest pit stop of the final race at the Hockenheimring, with a time of 23.697 seconds. This was rewarded with 25 points towards the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award. The winning crew also receives three crates of beer at the opening round of the 2017 DTM in Hockenheim.
Marco Wittmann (BMW): “I am over the moon with my second DTM title. The start was very eventful today, and Edoardo took far more risks than I did. However, you have to be clever in certain situations, and I was simply more consistent than him over the course of the season. The tyres did a good job. There were obviously circuits, at which the opposition coped better with them. On the whole, however, we did very well with the Hankook race tyres.”
Edoardo Mortara (Audi): “The Hankook tyres behaved the same way today as they have throughout the entire season. There were absolutely no problems. I only had very little wear in the race, which allowed me to keep pulling clear. Generally speaking, I was always able to get the Hankook race tyre working well. As such, I was able to win a few races.”
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz): “The car was strong for the opening lap. Unfortunately, I got stuck in a bit of traffic but was ultimately able to pass Marco Wittmann. The race tyre worked very well and did a super job, not only here but throughout the entire season. I am very happy with the tyres.”
BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt: “That was the icing on the cake at the end of a great and exciting season. It speaks volumes for the DTM that the champion was only decided in the final race. Marco went about his job in a very serene manner and is a cool customer these days. We have had 18 great races with a stable tyre from Hankook, which is exactly what we need. The cooperation was as excellent as ever. The qualities of the Hankook tyre helped make for an exciting and open season, right down to the finish.”
Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM, Ulrich Fritz: “This final race was a nice way to end what has been a season of ups and downs for Mercedes-Benz. Unfortunately, Gary Paffett was hit by misfortune today, when he would have had a good chance of winning. Things went very well for Chris and Paul, though. Hankook has provided us with a very consistent tyre package and great support. The qualities of the tyre were consistently high, thus ensuring a level playing ground. We are pleased to have Hankook as a partner.”
Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport: “We knew that it would be virtually impossible to catch Marco Wittmann today. However, it was extremely close in the end. Unfortunately, we did not have enough cars at the front of the field to support Edoardo. The unwarranted drive-through penalty awarded to Edoardo in Zandvoort was a real shame. He lost more points there than he ultimately missed out on the championship by. We were the ones who manage to get the best out of the Hankook tyre in the race. The performance of the tyre was very good and we understood the way it worked well. The important thing is that Hankook pro