DTM Driver’s Championship taken by BMW’s Marco Wittmann
Making BMW history by taking his second DTM title in a BMW, Red Bull BMW’s Marco Wittmann wrapped up his championship victory by taking fourth in the final race of the year at Hockenheimring. The 26-year-old German took the championship down to the wire, scoring 206 points once the chequered flag fell on the final race – just four above second place man, Italy’s Edoardo Mortara. Wittmann started the race on fifth and put in a near-flawless race to take the title.
Wittman’s performance over his comparatively short career has established him as one of DTM’s greatest ever drivers. Only Bernard Schneider and Klaus Ludwig have won more titles than him at five and three respectively. His victory is also the latest in a line of success in the DTM for BMW that spans over 30 years. Volker Strycek (1984), Eric van de Poele (1987), Roberto Ravaglia (1989) and Bruno Spengler (2012) have all previously won the title for BMW, but never before has a driver done it twice.
This success is put into even more focus when you take into account his age and experience; 2016 was Wittmann’s fourth season in DTM. His maiden title came back in 2014 when he lifted the trophy as he did this year, at the Hokenheimring. Having done it again, he is the youngest ever double champion in the DTM series at 26 years and 327 days.
The champion said, “What a feeling! Being crowned DTM Champion for the second time in four years is incredible. It was a difficult season, but now the emotions are indescribable. We fought right down to the wire and had no idea that we would finish at the top before the season started. We’ve done it now. Crazy. Massive thanks go to my team, BMW Motorsport and everyone involved.”
Hokenheim wasn’t just a success for Marco Wittmann as it sealed BMW Team RMG’s runners up place in the team title race with 290 points – 29 points behind Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. BMW also sealed second place behind Audi in the manufacturers’ championship, taking 647 points to Audi’s 700.
Behind the new champion a further four BMW M4 DTMs finished in the points. Timo Glock came fifth in the Deutsche Post BMW M4 DTM, Maxime Martin finished sixth in the Samsung BMW M4 DTM. Brit Tom Blomqvist finished in seventh place in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, while Martin Tomczyk picked up one point for tenth place at the wheel of the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM. Sadly for António Félix da Costa (PT, BMW M4 DTM), despite starting from pole for the second time during the weekend, he was forced to retire from his final DTM race after a collision that was no fault of his own.
The 2017 season of the DTM begins in early May next year.