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Misano DTM: Wittmann takes last-to-first victory

Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann rose from the back of the grid to take a surprise victory in the Misano opener.

Misano DTM: Wittmann takes last-to-first victory

Wittmann had completed just one lap in qualifying after what BMW described as a "failure in the engine area" and lined up 18th on the grid.

He opted to take the strategic gamble of stopping at the end of the first lap, which left him with 38 laps to manage his tyres on a high-wear, high-speed circuit. 

Boosted by an early safety car period that lasted three laps when BMW's Joel Eriksson slowed and pulled off the track at Turn 7, Wittmann began to carve through the field progressively. 

He moved inside the top 10 within the first 13 laps and cycled to the front when polesitter and race leader Rene Rast and the chasing pack made their mandatory pitstops.

R-Motorsport's Ferdinand Habsburg had mirrored Wittmann's strategy as the Aston Martin squad made its usual strategic gamble, meaning Rast had to clear Habsburg before hunting down the leader. 

Lapping around four seconds quicker than Habsburg and two seconds faster than Wittmann initially, Rast cleared the Aston when Habsburg got a poor exit out of Turn 10.

With Rast in clear air, he took over 20s out of Wittmann's lead across the second stint but was only able to close to within 8.2s at the flag, meaning his BMW rival took his second win of the 2019 season. 

Loic Duval rounded off the podium in third place having stormed past Habsburg when the Aston's tyres dropped off late on and having also dispatched BMW's Bruno Spengler.

Spengler took fourth after a storming start from sixth on the grid helped initially lifted him into third after WRT Audi's Jonathan Aberdein made a poor start from the front row. 

Nico Muller and Mike Rockenfeller were matched on strategy, but the former came out on top against his Audi stablemate for fifth place. 

Philipp Eng was seventh after a late duel with BMW teammate Sheldon van der Linde, while Aberdein recovered from a poor start and a delayed pitstop to finish eighth - although the South African remains under investigation over a potential pitlane infringement. 

BMW pair van der Linde and Timo Glock rounded out the top 10. 

MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso impressed by finishing 12th on his DTM debut, seven seconds behind fellow Audi driver Pietro Fittipaldi in 11th. 

Dovizioso was able to stay ahead of the Aston Martins of Daniel Juncadella, Habsburg and Jake Dennis and the Ducati rider impressed in a flurry of wheel-to-wheel racing mid-race. 

Paul di Resta retired from the race eight laps from home, with Robin Frijns finished 23 laps down after returning to the track after a lengthy delay spent in the pits.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Car Laps Gap
1 11 Germany Marco Wittmann
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 39
2 33 Germany René Rast
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 39 8.238
3 28 France Loic Duval
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 39 17.686
4 7 Canada Bruno Spengler
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 39 22.853
5 51 Switzerland Nico Müller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 39 28.503
6 99 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 39 32.467
7 25 Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 39 44.922
8 27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 39 47.238
9 31 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 39 48.347
10 16 Germany Timo Glock
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 39 48.429
11 21 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 39 50.043
12 34 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Audi RS5 DTM 39 57.138
13 23 Spain Daniel Juncadella
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 39 58.948
14 62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 39 1'01.928
15 76 United Kingdom Jake Dennis
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 39 1'08.229
16 3 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 31 8 Laps
4 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 16 23 Laps
47 Sweden Joel Eriksson
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2 37 Laps
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Series DTM
Event Misano
Author Tom Errington
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