Zolder -- Jonathan Aberdein (RSA) gave a strong performance in the 15th race of the DTM season at Zolder (BEL) to claim fourth place in his CATL BMW M4 DTM. The South African driver celebrated his greatest success as a BMW works driver. Timo Glock (GER, iQOO BMW M4 DTM) and Marco Wittmann (GER, Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM) also finished in the points, claiming ninth and tenth places respectively.
Aberdein followed up Friday's practice session by reaching fourth place in qualifying to suggest that he was coping well with the cold conditions. He confirmed that in the race as he remained in the fight for a podium finish right to the end. Philipp Eng (AUT, ZF BMW M4 DTM) also had a good turn of speed and was running in the top six before falling back after receiving a drive-through penalty due to a collision with Jamie Green (GBR, Audi). Sheldon van der Linde (RSA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) also had to take a drive-through penalty. The two drivers crossed the line in twelfth and 13th places, directly behind Lucas Auer (AUT, BMW Bank M4 DTM), who returned to the scene of last week's podium finish to claim eleventh position.
Reactions to the 15th DTM race of the 2020 season.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director):
"After qualifying, it was clear that the race would be hard work. The cold temperatures are a real challenge. Jonathan did very well. Driving close behind another car for such a long time is tough on the front tyres. We have known that for many years in the DTM and today we saw that again with Jonathan and Timo. You have to try and overtake. If you don't manage that, things get difficult. Congratulations to Jonathan on his fourth place. That is a very good result for him. He's on an upward trajectory at the moment and I hope that he will make more progress tomorrow. Of course, three BMWs in the top ten is not the result that we had expected or hoped for. We will have to see if we can get to grips with the tyre wear a bit better tomorrow and improve a bit in qualifying. Congratulations to Rene Rast on the win."
Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 14th, Race: 10th, Drivers' standings: 7th, 91 points):
"There's not much to be said after the race. We moved up from 14th place to tenth and managed to score a point. With our early pit stop, we hoped that the safety car would make another appearance but that was not the case, so the strategy didn't work out. We are losing too much time on the straights compared to the other cars around us. That is a bit frustrating. We have to analyse that and hopefully we will improve for tomorrow."
Timo Glock (#16 iQOO BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 13th, Race: 9th, Driver's standings: 5th, 104 points):
"There's really not much to be said after today's race. I think that finishing ninth represents a solid result when you consider that I started from 13th on the grid."
Lucas Auer (#22 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 15th, Race: 11th, Drivers' standings: 11th, 51 points):
"I was unable to continue with the second set of tyres in qualifying due to some extreme vibration and I had to return to the pits. That knocked us back to 15th on the grid. We were relying on a safety car in the race but unfortunately that didn't work out."
Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 7th, Race: 12th, Drivers' standings: 12th, 45 points):
"The car was really good today. I made a good start and had a good first lap. It was quite disappointing to get a drive-through penalty for my collision with Jamie Green. However, the positive aspect is that the package worked really well today. It was a shame that we couldn't convert that into a good result."
Jonathan Aberdein (#27 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 4th, Race: 4th, Drivers' standings: 13th, 45 points):
"It was a good race for us. We started from fourth position and were still in fourth as we crossed the finishing line, just a few seconds behind third place. I think we recorded the best possible result and have to be pleased with that. It was still a very big gap to first place so we still have some work to do ahead of tomorrow's race to improve the car and record as good a result as possible."
Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 11th, Race: 13th, Drivers' standings: 6th, 99 points):
"Of course, I'm not very happy with how the race turned out. I received a penalty on the Indy restart and qualifying hadn't gone so well this morning as I made too many mistakes. We have to pull everything together for tomorrow. The car definitely has the pace to do better. The penalty cost us a few points today. That is disappointing for me but we will try again tomorrow."