Pitstop strategy decided Sunday’s race

Daniel Juncadella had taken Pole Position of the weekend’s second DTM race at Norisring.

Gary Paffett, Lucas Auer, Paul di Resta, and Edoardo Mortara made it a pure Mercedes 1-2-3-4-5, in front of the BMW drivers Bruno Spengler, Marco Wittmann, Joel Eriksson, Timo Glock, and Philipp Eng. Nico Müller was once again the best Audi man in P11, where the line of Audi drivers only broken by Augusto Farfus in P13 and Pascal Wehrlein in P18.

At the start, Auer tried to go past Juncadella from the outside, but he had to fall back behind again. Paffett lost one position in P3.

Mortara, Eriksson, Müller, Rockenfeller, and Green chose to pit already on the first lap to get their obligatory pitstop over with.

All of those drivers came out in front of the leaders, who especially Green gave them problems. Green got a number of blue flags and had to let the whole field drive past, since you miss one lap when you pit on the short lap.

Glock was the next person to pit, and it was clear that he had a bit of damage at the front of his car.

Paul di Resta grazed the concrete wall, but he could continue the race without problems, apart from a little brush mark at the back of his Mercedes.

Daniel Juncadella
Photo: JJ Media

Gary Paffett waited to pit until the tenth lap and it really cost him, since he came out in the middle of the field and couldn’t keep the competitions behind him with cold tires. Thus he lost plenty of positions to the other drivers who had pitted. So he went from potentially leading the race at the start, to be down on 6th place between the drivers who had been in the pits.

Spengler came out at the front of the field after his pitstop, which was a huge advantage for his teammate Wittmann, who could then overtake Mortara for the real lead of the race. Mortara wasn’t so happy with that tactic from BMW, but on the track everything goes.

As Spengler, Mortara, and di Resta battled each other for P2, Wittmann was building up a big lead.

Juncadella and Auer were maybe out at the front after their pitstops, but Wittmann with his warm tires could quickly get past Auer, while Juncadella wouldn’t give up his place that easily.

But then Juncadella outbraked himself in Turn 1, and Wittmann used that to his advantage by driving past him. After that Mortara tried to do the same thing, and it only took him one lap to accomplish it. Lucas Auer attempted to slip past using the same manouvre, but he ended up losing one position to Bruno Spengler.

Halfway through the race, Gary Paffett closed up to Timo Glock under braking in the final corner. Both drivers, however, remained on the track and continued to battle without gaining positions.

Rene Rast was incredibly unlucky with his pitstop, when his air jacks failed to work, so the mechanics had to lift the car manually to be able to change the tires on the left side of the car. Such a bad luck for the Audi Sport driver.

Marco Wittmann
Photo: JJ Media

Paffett tried to get past Glock one more time, but he made a mistake in the Schöller-S combination, so he lost two places instead of gaining one. Paffett was furious in the car and yelling out over the radio, that the other drivers did some unfair manouvres on the track.

After everyone had pitted, it was clear to see that Pascal Wehrlein had won nine places by staying longer than everybody else. Thus he was on the way to score two valuable points.

Augusto Farfus spun with 13 minutes left of the race, when he got a little push by Loic Duval in Turn 1. It cost the Brazilian four places, while the Frenchman got rewarded with a drive-through penalty and therefore fell back to last.

Even though Edoardo Mortara got the hole closed, he couldn’t beat Marco Wittmann, who won the race ahead of Mortara and Daniel Juncadella.

After the weekend, Gary Paffett leads the drivers’ championship ahead of Edoardo Mortara, Marco Wittmann, Timo Glock, and Paul di Resta. These five drivers are within 12 points of each other – with ten rounds left of the season.

The teams’ championship was led by Silberpfeil Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, in front of BMW Team RMR, and Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Petronas.

Mercedes-Benz has a has a big lead over BMW and Audi in the constructors’ championship.

In three weeks’ time DTM will continue in the Netherlands, when the ninth and tenth rounds will be run at Zandvoort.

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