This past weekend meant a new public outing for DTM in 2015, on the Lausitzring racetrack. The greatest strategist of the two races of the Deutsch Touring cars Masters was Jamie Green, virtually reinvented by the Audi team, three years away from his relocating from the Mercedes-Benz squad.
The first race, the 40 minutes covered on Saturday, the start under the command of those in Audi. After a qualifying session he brilliantly mastered, the Spaniard Miquel Molina was starting from the first position on the grid. It was another sign that at least the 2015 season debut runs under the badge of the four rings from Ingolstadt. Unfortunately for him, Molina did not make a lucky hit when it came to his tyres and after a race start that he tried to keep the tempo up, in order to fetch away ahead of everybody else, he had to fight the overwearing of his tyres towards the end, as he was to tell after the race, quite disillusioned by the situation.
But in the Audi main camp, there was no disillusion when Molna started to lose ground, because the home drivers were setting up front. The fastest driver of the first race in Lausitzring was Jamie Green, who proves to be the best fit sportsman in the 2015 DTM, as we are set to see. If those in Mercedes-Benz and BMW don’t understand much of the current championship season had already been certified by Saturday and this aspect was humorously marked by Mattias Ekstrom (the winner of one of the Hockenheim rounds and the one who took third place on the podium in Lausitzring, on Saturday); he said that apparently, the holiday was somehow shorter in Ingolstadt, at least in comparison to what happened in Munich and Stuttgart, a greatly fine bite of the man whose background is one of the same with the Audi triumph in the DTM modern era.
The second spot of the race on Saturday was taken by Edoardo Mortara, who, after having run 40 minutes to the limit, was only 4.261 seconds behind the winner Jamie Green. Edo is not a Lausitzring circuit enthusiast, as he honestly admitted, even though his result can be considered as quite competitive. It’s just that with it, he gave up on the leading position in the DTM overall ranking, a quite harsh position to be in, considering that there are only three races in a whole year.
Miguel Molina, the poleman, barely managed to come fourth, in an image that looks so good in the eyes of the Audi fans. For Mercedes-AMG, it was miles away from a good weekend start, as the first driver of the 3-pointed star barely coming in the 5th position – the hopeful Pascal Wehrlein. Right behind him, there came Robert Wickins, but the result is quite homespun compared to what the fans were expecting from the Mercedes-AMG C 63. As a matter of fact, Wehrlein, even though he tried to take responsibility for the not so great result, by saying that he is reaming out on himself for the humble start, he left a door open to dissatisfaction regarding the competition material.
If there was any consolation for the Mercedes-AMG family, this came from the old-established rivals BMW, who were not able to go any higher than the 7th position on the Lausitzring tarmac. The BMW flagship was the Belgian Maxime Martine, but he also claimed to be discontent for the constructor’s performance, which provided the DTM championship with a champion last year (Marco Wittman). What is even more downcasting for BMW is that they only managed to bring a man up in top 10, Martin, while the DTM overall ranking they find themselves only in the 9th spot, thanks to the 12 anemic points scored by Martin Tomczyk.
Nobody had it in for Jamie Green on Sunday either. The 33-year old Brit born in Leicester, a member of the Audi Sport Team Rosberg, seems to be reliving his youth three years after being relocated from Mercedes-Benz. Even though he quickly have up on the advantage of the pole position to the always alert Mattias Esktrom, Green set to useful waiting and returned to leading the contestants peloton during the eighth lap of the 60-minute race. And even though the Swedish constantly put pressure on him, he was unable to disturb the precise Green.
Somehow, the second race was quite tamed at the top, only the deployment of the safety car after Lucas Auer (Mercedes-AMG) came out the racetrack, was the disturbing component in the quietness of the peloton bodaciously led by Jamie Green. Mattias Ekstrom was well aware, as he was to state, that he could not close in on Green and would rather add one more podium position in his already impressive CV than take any stupid chances to reach the first spot. In the third position there came Miguel Molina, the man who laughed as much as he cried at Lausitzring. After having led the race for 24 laps on Saturday, but only finished fourth, the Spaniard came up the podium on Sunday, in what was to be the third triple of the weekend for Audi.
There were, indisputably, the days of the four rings, as seven of the eight RS5 DTM models finished in the top 10 on Sunday, for instance. As joyful as the member of the Audi squads were, as big was the disillusion inside the Mercedes-AMG team and especially those in BMW. For the first ones, the fastest driver was Daniel Juncadella, the one who eventually came 6th. Ulrich Fritz, the head of the DTM program for Mercedes-AMG attempted to get rid of the hot spot, stating that the failure of the squad he is managing was due to the incompatibility with the Hankook tyres.
The fastest BMW was driven by Maxime Martin, just like on Saturday, but even like that, the 8th spot is a far cry from being a hit for the Bavarians. Actually, maybe the best performance for BMW was displayed during the second race by Martin Tomczyk, who started in the 23rd spot on the grid and finished 12th, while the comparable performance in Mercedes-AMG had Christian Vietoris for a showman, as he finished 7th, after having started out in the race in the 15th place.