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Hockenheim DTM: BMW's Marco Wittmann dominates 2014 opener

Marco Wittmann wins Hockenheim DTM 2014

Marco Wittmann took his first DTM race win in dominant style at the season opener at Hockenheim.

The RMG BMW driver did not put a foot wrong all race, barging past polesitter Adrien Tambay's Abt Audi on the second lap of the race, before building a healthy gap on the option tyre.

He pitted for a set of the standard Hankooks on lap 20, and with the remainder of the rest of the top six also running options in the first stint, and the best of the standard tyre starters well back, the race was essentially won.

Wittmann had a 6.3-second gap over Tambay a lap after his stop, and managed to stretch it to 12.8s at the finish as he recorded his first DTM win.

Behind Wittmann, Ekstrom made the exact opposite strategy work. The Abt Audi driver started from fifth on the standard tyre, was ninth when he stopped on lap 22, and the charged home on the option tyre to finish second.

He was helped a little bit by early frontrunners Timo Scheider and Antonio Felix da Costa clashing nine laps from the end, giving him a clear run at Tambay, as well as Edoardo Mortara, who was on a similar strategy, retiring a lap earlier with a puncture.

Tambay held on to finish third, while 2013 champion Mike Rockenfeller was the best of Phoenix Audis in fourth, using an almost identical strategy to Ekstrom to make a late run to the front.

Timo Glock finished fifth for MTEK BMW, having set up the result with a crucial first lap on the options on which he jumped up four places and most importantly cleared the drivers in front of him starting on the standard tyre.

The rest of the top eight was made up by drivers who started on the standard tyre - the Schnitzer BMW pair of Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk, and RBM BMW driver Augusto Farfus.

The best of the Mercedes drivers were HWA's Pascal Wehrlein and Gary Paffett, who finished 11th and 12th respectively after starting on the standard tyre.

Option starters Christian Vietoris and Robert Wickens did manage to charge from the back of the grid into the top 10 in the early stages of the race, but ultimately slipped back to 15th and 18th by the finish.

Results - 42 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team/Car            Time/Gap
 1.  Marco Wittmann          RMG BMW         1h06m40.548s
 2.  Mattias Ekstrom         Abt Audi            +12.869s
 3.  Adrien Tambay           Abt Audi            +14.879s
 4.  Mike Rockenfeller       Phoenix Audi        +17.593s
 5.  Timo Glock              MTEK BMW            +21.780s
 6.  Bruno Spengler          Schnitzer BMW       +23.513s
 7.  Martin Tomczyk          Schnitzer BMW       +24.082s
 8.  Augusto Farfus          RBM BMW             +24.913s
 9.  Timo Scheider           Phoenix Audi        +26.138s
10.  Joey Hand               RBM BMW             +34.759s
11.  Pascal Wehrlein         HWA Mercedes        +53.857s
12.  Gary Paffett            HWA Mercedes        +57.264s
13.  Miguel Molina           Abt Audi            +59.161s
14.  Paul di Resta           HWA Mercedes      +1m00.858s
15.  Christian Vietoris      HWA Mercedes      +1m02.062s
16.  Nico Muller             Rosberg Audi      +1m02.479s
17.  Vitaly Petrov           Mucke Mercedes    +1m06.591s
18.  Robert Wickens          HWA Mercedes      +1m11.152s
19.  Daniel Juncadella       Mucke Mercedes        +1 lap
20.  Maxime Martin           RMG BMW               +1 lap

Retirements:

     Antonio Felix da Costa  MTEK BMW             38 laps
     Edoardo Mortara         Abt Audi             31 laps
     Jamie Green             Rosberg Audi          2 laps
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