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Marco Wittmann posted the fastest lap time in qualifying for the DTM race on Saturday at Moscow Raceway. Nevertheless, the BMW driver will not be starting from pole position for today’s race.

In the race at the Norisring, Wittmann incurred his third warning of the current season for an incident with Mattias Ekström and will be dropped five places on the grid as a result.

Thus, the two Audi drivers René Rast and Mike Rockenfeller, who ended up second and third in qualifying, will be starting from the front row. Behind them, Augusto Farfus and Timo Glock are making it a white-and-blue second row.

With the fastest time of 1m27.035s, Wittmann went considerably faster than how own pole-winning time from the previous year when he was fastest on Sunday with a time of 1m28.776s. Gary Paffett, who was the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver in ninth position, was over half a second down.

“With the penalty, this was the maximum I could do. This was really mega. We have made many changes on the car because I wasn’t totally happy in free practice." Said Witmann

"The changes really worked out well. Of course, I am happy with first place. Last year, I was on pole for the second race here and another first place in qualifying this year."

"I like the track and it seems to be working well for me every time. When you have pole, you want to keep it, but I have to deal with my five-place grid penalty. That is the minimum disadvantage that I could achieve, so from that point of view, everything is okay." He added

The Saturday race at Moscow Raceway will get underway at 14.40 hrs CET. The first German TV channel ARD is broadcasting live from Russia from 14.30 hrs onwards.


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Audi and Mercedes-AMG drivers alternated nicely in the top positions of the classification after first free practice at Moscow Raceway. Jamie Green ended up fastest with a time of 1m29.287s.

“Everything went smoothly. We ran through our usual programme to be well prepared for the weekend and we ended up in front. It was only free practice, but it was a nice and clean start into the weekend,” the Audi driver said.

Next up were Gary Paffett (1m29.337s), Mike Rockenfeller (1m29.362s) and Paul Di Resta (1m29.401s). Augusto Farfus was the best-placed BMW driver in fifth with a time of 1m29.470s.

Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller was also happy after the test with his broken left foot. “The big question for me was whether I would be able to drive at all with that foot, but it went quite well."

"We can still make some improvements on the pedals to make things easier for me. All in all, it was a good start of the weekend,” ‘Rocky’ commented.

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Saturday’s second free practice at Moscow Raceway was a clear affair for Audi.

Drivers of the brand from Ingolstadt claimed five of the first six positions. Only BMW driver Timo Glock broke the phalanx, ending up fourth with a time of 1m27.930s. René Rast (1m27.604s) emerged as the fastest driver from Mattias Ekström (1m27.740s) and Nico Müller (1m27.818s).

Fifth place went to Loïc Duval (1m27.981s) from Jamie Green (1m28.077s), the fastest driver in first free practice on Friday.

“This wasn’t too bad. I made good use of the things I learned yesterday. Of course, qualifying is a different affair, but this gives me a good feeling,” Rast said. Gary Paffett was the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver in seventh with a time of 1m28.337s.

The starting positions for the first race on the Moscow Raceway will be extended in the qualifying session from 12:40 local time, 11:40 am German time.

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The second DTM race at the Norisring couldn’t be topped in terms of suspense: Maxime Martin drove his BMW M4 DTM to his first win of the season from Lucas Auer with the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM.

The battle for third place was only decided on the final metres: Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-AMG) came out on top in a photo finish with a margin of only two thousandths of a second against Mattias Ekström (Audi). The latter, in turn, was just 25 thousandths of a second ahead of local hero Marco Wittmann (BMW) at the finish.

The Sunday DTM race had to be red-flagged on lap 33 following a heavy accident. After contact with Jamie Green (Audi), Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG) hit the barrier in the run to the first corner, lost control of his car and collided with Mike Rockenfeller (Audi). Paffett and Rockenfeller were taken to the Klinikum Süd hospital in Nuremberg for examination. While the Brit walked away with bruises, Rockenfeller incurred a minor fracture of the fifth metatarsal on his left foot. After an interruption of approximately half an hour, racing resumed with 25 minutes remaining.

“After two retirements now finishing on the podium for the third time in a row is fantastic,” Maxime Martin commented after the race. “I was able to use the potential of the car to the full and thus finally claim my first win of the year.” In the closing stages, the Belgian was involved in a thrilling battle for victory with Lucas Auer. “I didn’t expect Lucas to overtake me after the restart,” he said. “Fortunately, I was able to restore the order in my favour.”

Auer was very happy with second place, particularly as he didn’t score any points in the three previous races. “In the opening stages of the race, I immediately managed to make up some positions,” the Austrian reported. “Towards the end, I then had to deal with cramps in my left foot that I normally use to brake – and that at the Norisring, where braking is so important. Therefore, I am happy that I still managed to bring second place home.”

Edoardo Mortara celebrated his first podium finish since becoming a Mercedes-AMG driver. “I will remember the final metres of this race for a long time to come,” the 30-year-old is convinced. “The dash to the finish line three abreast simply was a crazy feeling. The fact that I came out on top in the end makes it even better. From 16th place on the grid, that wasn’t too bad.” 

After the eighth race, the battle for the DTM drivers’ title intensifies. Ekström is leading with 89 points just ahead of Auer, who has 87 points to his tally. Race winner Martin had a total score of 46 points at the Norisring and moved up to third in the standings. With Jamie Green (75), who finished eighth in the race on Sunday, and René Rast (72), two further Audi drivers follow in fourth and fifth place.

The ninth and tenth race of the 2017 DTM season will be taking place at Moscow Raceway in three weeks’ time from 21 till 23 July.