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Nurburgring DTM: BMW's Marco Wittmann closes on title with win

Marco Wittmann wins Nurburgring DTM 2014

Marco Wittmann put one hand firmly on the DTM championship trophy with victory at the Nurburgring.

The RMG BMW driver barely put a foot wrong all afternoon in his heavily success-ballasted M4, making a perfect start and leading all bar one lap - the one during which he made his mandatory stop - on his way to his fourth win of the season.

With Mattias Ekstrom retiring after the first lap with mechanical problems, Wittmann now has a whopping 64-point lead over the Swede, with just 75 points on offer across the remaining three races of the year.

"The race was pretty good," he said.

"I had a good start, and good opening laps where I could make a gap. At the end of the race I was a bit under pressure - I was struggling a bit with the prime tyres. But overall it was a great weekend for us."

Mike Rockenfeller finished second, his race-defining move coming at the start when he jumped Audi team-mate Edoardo Mortara on the run to the first corner.

From there, he was able to shadow Wittmann, even making the leader sweat by closing the gap to beat him into the DRS window with a couple of laps remaining. But in the end, he fell 1.2 seconds short of taking Audi's first win of the season.

"We did a good job," Rockenfeller said. "I got the maximum out of my car, and still I wasn't able to win. That's a bit frustrating, of course. Five more laps it would have been a but more exciting. In total, I'm happy to be back."

Mortara came home third, having spent the entire race with mirrors full of Paul di Resta's Mercedes. Di Resta, who finished fourth, put in a solid drive to make spots early, particularly his move on team-mate Daniel Juncadella as the pair squabbled over fourth in the first stint.

Juncadella finished fifth, while Christian Vietoris made it a Mercedes 4-5-6 with a solid move on BMW's Maxime Martin at Turn 1 on lap 33. Martin went on to finish seventh.

Martin Tomczyk was the best of the drivers to use the hards-to-soft strategy, going from 18th to eighth. The BMW driver had an excellent first stint, establishing himself as the frontrunner of those on that strategy.

But, without a safety car in the second stint, the best he could manage was eighth, ahead of Mercedes drivers Robert Wickens and Pascal Wehrlein, who also started on the standard tyres.

Timo Scheider might have been in a position to fight for a podium, having looked strong on the harder tyres in the opening laps, but a lap eight clash with Audi team-mate Nico Muller (pictured) left him out of the race.

Still, he got further than Miguel Molina. Starting sixth, the Spaniard only made it to the end of lap two after first-lap contact left his RS5 too damaged to continue.

Results - 49 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team/Car             Time/Gap
 1.  Marco Wittmann          RMG BMW          1h09m42.802s
 2.  Mike Rockenfeller       Phoenix Audi          +1.286s
 3.  Edoardo Mortara         Abt Audi             +12.019s
 4.  Paul di Resta           HWA Mercedes         +12.815s
 5.  Daniel Juncadella       Mucke Mercedes       +13.717s
 6.  Christian Vietoris      HWA Mercedes         +24.918s
 7.  Maxime Martin           RMG BMW              +28.921s
 8.  Martin Tomczyk          Schnitzer BMW        +38.521s
 9.  Robert Wickens          HWA Mercedes         +43.197s
10.  Pascal Wehrlein         HWA Mercedes         +45.377s
11.  Adrien Tambay           Abt Audi             +48.071s
12.  Bruno Spengler          Schnitzer BMW        +49.834s
13.  Antonio Felix da Costa  MTEK BMW             +50.150s
14.  Joey Hand               RBM BMW              +20.955s
15.  Jamie Green             Rosberg Audi         +52.771s
16.  Gary Paffett            HWA Mercedes         +57.056s
17.  Timo Glock              MTEK BMW             +58.557s
18.  Vitaly Petrov           Mucke Mercedes         -1 lap

Retirements:

     Augusto Farfus          RBM BMW               35 laps
     Nico Muller             Rosberg Audi          10 laps
     Timo Scheider           Phoenix Audi           8 laps
     Miguel Molina           Abt Audi               4 laps
     Mattias Ekstrom         Abt Audi               3 laps
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