Just like in a good joke of destiny, once a year, the DTM halts in Moscow for a German-German-German war. Of the three crusaders, only BMW got nicely left, as the triumphs in the Moscovite round were split between Mercedes-AMG and Audi.
The man of the racing weekend’s first part din Russia was Marco Wittmann; the German, the one bearing the number 1 on his BMW M4 automobile, the number of the champion, has been having a season that we can undoubtedly call, average. In Moscow, it seemed he found and reinvented himself again, since he was in command of the free training sessions, as well as the qualifying for Saturday’s race. Wittmann was to take on the role of the pole man, ahead of Pacal Wehrlein and Jamie Green, meaning the perfect formula for the DTM enthusiasts, with all the constructers caught up at the top of the ranking.
Saturday’s 40-minute race started with a first collision in the very first lap, when Miguel Molina (Audi) made a mistake and hung in the middle of the racetrack, right across it, also having the misfortune of being fully hit by Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-AMG); the event had no consequences for the drivers involved, but demanded the Safety Car’s presence to neutralize the race. After cleaning up the track and the restart of the race, we woud witness the all famous tight duels, the DTM ginger, but the atmosphere was set on fire here and there and the fight between Mattias Ekstrom (Audi), the leader of the temporary ranking in 2015, and Timp Glock (BMW), during the 11th lap ended up in the tire rail on the side, as both were forced to hang the steering wheel in the first race.
Wittmann was still in the leading position, but the German lad from BMW was put under pressure by the lad in Mercedes-AMG, Pascal Wehrlein. It was a duel of the drivers that many want in Formula One. Pascal was slier and more determined and managed to find a way out, leaving champion Wittman under the surveillance of Jamie Green. But the Audi driver was unable to keep the pace, further more, he gave the last Russian podium position up to Bruno Spengler. A half-way consolation for the Bavarians, who, despite losing by a whisker, were still placing both champions of the modern DTM era up on the podium. A grand triumph for Mercedes-AMG, too, while in the Audi squad, there was a not so pleasant atmosphere, of all things, Ekstrom failing to score important points in the race for the 2015 season championship.
If Green finished 4th, the 5th position was awarded to Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG), followed by Edoardo Mortara (Audi), Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG), Tom Blomqvist (BMW), Nico Muller (Audi) and Mike Rockenfeller (Audi). Thanks to this win, Pascal Wehrlein discrowned Mattias Ekstrom in the overall ranking, confidently awaiting the Sunday’s race. The driver who is currently in the best shape was on his second win in 2015 and his dreams for the season are growing bigger and bigger wings.
As we have already got used to it, after Saturday’s sprint, there came the more challenging race on Sunday. It was Mike Rockenfeller’s turn to show the pride overspill in Moscow and got the best qualifying time. For the second position, there came Mattias Ekstrom, who had to erase the premature exist from Saturday’s race, but due to the incident with Timo Glock, he had to comply with a penalty materialized into a 3-position relegation on the starting grid. The bonus came into Bruno Spengler’s account, who saw himself up in the first grid line. More than that, the Canadian from BMW was close to taking the lead and he was first after an excellent start, in the most tense moment of the race for Rockenfeller, but the German held on well and remained unbothered in the lead up to the end.
There was an emulation behind Spengler, with Jamie Green who came up into the third spot, just to be surpassed by Maxime Martin and by Mattias Ekstrom as well. The Swede was fussy and extremely aggressive and put pressure on the Belgian Martin until he managed to overcome him. Still, the third spot was all he could get in Moscow, too little in the eyes of a man who, one day before, had lost the lead of the overall ranking to Pascal Wehrlein. Ekstrom’s fortune was the young German not shining in the qualifying, nor the second race and only finished 10th. Therefore, the play of the points produced such a turn at the top, as Mattias Ekstrom returned in the leading position of the 2015 DTM after a break of approximately… 24 hours.
Marco Wittmann seemed not be himself after the excellent weekend start and only finished 7th, behind Gary Paffett, who proved to be the fastest Mercedes-AMG driver. As a matter of fact, the Stuttgart it was not a race to archive for the Stuttgart car maker, as their second driver in the rank was Wehrlein himself, who settled for the 10th place.
All in all, Mike Rockenfeller’s success, first after a 2-year dry spell, was a beautiful one, and the ado in the rankings of the two races in Russia can only gets the nail-biting even more intense in the overall ranking. Audi seems to be in the attack position once more, with Mattias Ekstrom as a standard bearer, but young Wehrlein’s thirst for success must not be ignored. Next DTM double will take place on September 11-13, in Oschrsleben.