Edoardo Mortara triumphed in the first race of the DTM weekend at the Norisring on Saturday. The fifth win for the Audi driver in the probably most popular international touring car series ended the 14-year winning streak for Mercedes-Benz on the Nuremberg street circuit. Championship leader Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) had to retire on lap 20 through no fault of his own, after an unfortunate collision. Despite track temperatures rising above 40 degrees, the race tyre from premium partner Hankook performed as well as expected at the Norisring, showing hardly any wear and allowing the drivers to brake hard and accelerate swiftly with the usual high level of grip.
Nuremberg/Germany, 25th June 2016 – Edoardo Mortara started the race from sixth position and profited from a pile-up on lap 20 that involved the front three. Whilst trying to move up from third place, Audi driver Mattias Ekström collided with race leader Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) and his brand team-mate Robert Wickens, who was in second at the time.
While Ekström and Wickens had to retire after the collision, Vietoris lost a lot of ground and Mortara moved into lead, which he defended until the chequered flag after 49 laps. This was the second win of the season for the 29-year-old, propelling him back to the top of the Drivers’ Championship. His Audi team-mate Jamie Green finished second and moved up to third place in the overall standings. Paul Di Resta was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver, claiming the final podium place.
The best BMW driver was Marco Wittmann, who battled to fourth place after starting the race from thirteenth on the grid. This result ensured that the 2014 DTM champion remained in second place in the drivers’ standings. Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “It was a typical Norisring race with a lot of tough battles and plenty of overtaking manoeuvres. The spectators witnessed some great motorsport and the Hankook race tyre delivered a convincing overall performance today. This makes the second race on Sunday especially exciting, as everything could change once again.”
Edoardo Mortara (Audi): “This win is a great success for our team. The Hankook tyres were also very good in this heat. There are enough straights at the Norisring to cool them down a bit. Tyre wear was not an issue at all and the Hankook tyre had plenty of grip right to the end.”
Jamie Green (Audi): “The Hankook tyre can take a lot of punishment, as we saw in the race. The slick provided a lot of traction over the distance, even in these high temperatures, and the wear was minimal. We had no problems at all with the Hankook race tyre.”
Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz): “The conditions were very challenging on these very short laps. The race tyre from Hankook provided plenty of grip and continues to be very consistent. The weather should be a bit cooler tomorrow, which will make the race easier. And we are in a very strong position.”