It was not pole-sitter Marco Wittmann (BMW), but Scotland’s Paul di Resta who made the best start in the Saturday race at Brands Hatch. The Aston Martin driver rocketed through from fourth place on the grid to take an early lead. However, he was subsequently handed a time penalty for a jump start, which saw him plummet back down the field. From that point on, the race was dominated by Wittmann, who came in for a new set of Hankook race tyres on lap 14.
Second-placed René Rast (Audi) did close the gap to Wittmann on the final lap, but it was too little too late and he ran out of time to launch an attack on the BMW driver. Wittmann was followed over the finish line by a quartet of Audi drivers – Rast, Nico Müller, Robin Frijns and Loic Duval – in positions two to five. Sixth place went to the second best BMW driver, Philipp Eng. The best-placed Aston Martin was that of Daniel Juncadella in tenth place.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “We witnessed another exciting DTM race at this iconic Brands Hatch circuit. It showed once again just how important the pit stop strategy is. The first three drivers did a long second stint on one set of Hankook Ventus Race tyres, at the end of which the desired drop-off effect kicked in. The driver and the way he manages his tyres play an important role in the DTM. When it comes down to it, the spectators want to see the races decided out on the track by the drivers.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW): “Tyre management is very important this season, as the turbo engine, which is over 100 hp more powerful, means that tyre wear is far greater than last year. We coped well with the situation and were able to push from the start and open up a gap on the Hankook race tyre. That proved to be the right tactic, although it did get rather close again at the end. We did enough to get the win and I am delighted.”
René Rast (Audi): “Tyre selection was tough in qualifying, when the track was wet in places. However, slicks were definitely the right way to go in the race, when we had dry conditions. The Hankook race tyres worked well and I should have pushed earlier on them. If I had, we could have done even better. However, it is easy to say that after the race.”
Nico Müller (Audi): “I started on a used set of tyres from qualifying. That was not easy, as all the other drivers around me were on new Hankook race tyres. I was able to push on a new set of tyres in my long second stint, and am happy with the race and third place.”
Daniel Juncadella (Aston Martin): “As in Assen, the tyres were put under a lot of strain here at Brands Hatch. However, as a driver, you have to be able to cope with and adapt to the wear, which is nothing out of the ordinary. I was able to gain a lot of positions because I managed the good Hankook race tyres properly.”