Countless battles, three safety car periods and a beaming birthday boy, Marco Wittmann, was on the podium. Part two of the ‘SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race’, the first joint event held by the DTM and SUPER GT Championship on Japanese soil, delighted Fuji fans on Sunday. Wittmann, celebrating his 30th birthday, battled his way to second place in the Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM. Kamui Kobayashi also gave an action-packed display, as did Alessandro Zanardi, who found himself as high as second place at times in the ZF BMW M4 DTM. Kobayashi came home fifth, while Zanardi finished in 13th place.
The safety car made three appearances over the course of the race. Fuji fans were not only treated to countless battles out on the track, but also the odd contact between cars and a few crashes. The action came thick and fast in the closing stages. Wittmann crossed the finish line in third place, but was then promoted to second place after Loïc Duval (Audi) received a one-second penalty for a previous incident. Victory went to Narain Karthikeyan (Honda).
Wittmann, whose family and many friends had travelled to Fuji, can now celebrate his 30th birthday in style in Tokyo. Before the race, BMW Group Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt, fellow drivers Zanardi and Kobayashi, and the entire BMW Team RBM sang to him and presented him with a big birthday cake during the morning’s pit walk.