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Wittmann knew he was "not out of the game" amid 2022 DTM struggles

BMW ace Marco Wittmann says he knew he was “not out of the game” in DTM after ending his winless streak in Sunday’s season finale at Hockenheim.

Watch: Round 8: Hockenheim - Race 2 Highlights

Wittmann was enduring the worst campaign of his decade-long career in the DTM and languished 15th in the standings prior to last weekend's title decider having registered just a single podium finish from the opening seven rounds of the season.

The Walkenhorst driver’s struggles contrasted with that of BMW stablemate Sheldon van der Linde, who had won three races in his Schubert-run entry and arrived to the final round leading the championship.

But two-time DTM title winner Wittmann was finally able to put his and his team’s troubles behind at Hockenheim to claim a third in race one, before outduelling Audi's Rene Rast on Sunday for a first win since Assen last year.

Eventually ending eighth in the championship, Wittmann said he never lost faith in himself amid Walkenhorst’s struggles to get on top with the new-for-2022 BMW M4 GT3.

“We made some quite good adjustments on the car for this weekend to obviously try to improve the car, to improve the set-up, to bring it more into the direction I needed and it seemed like it worked out,” Wittmann said of his weekend.

“It is a great feeling that we can still win races. I always knew that I'm not out of the game, I'm still capable to perform. 

“It's been a tough year for me, we had difficult weekends. It was at one stage quite frustrating to see that we didn't have any performance. 

“So obviously this weekend for good for us, on Saturday was P3 and Sunday was the win. To finish off the season is like that is [great] and [I] hope to come back stronger next year.”

Marco Wittmann, Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3

Marco Wittmann, Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

While van der Linde's Schubert team completed extensive testing this year, conducting 12 days of running even before the Portimao season opener, Walkenhorst’s understanding of the M4 was limited to just running the car in the Asian Le Mans Series and the two official pre-season tests organised by ITR.

Wittmann feels a lack of testing was what primarily compromised Walkenhorst’s second season in the DTM, a year after they put together a strong title challenger with the ageing M6 GT3.

Insight: The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

“We were suffering mainly as we didn't do as many tests as the other teams,” Wittmann explained.

“Obviously there were a few teams that were testing a lot already before the season, but also during the season. 

“I think that is one of the topics as we've had the new M4 with us. I think it would have been important really to get the mileage on the car and to understand the car better in terms of set-up approaches and so on.

“We didn't have the experience with the M4, we could not extract the full potential out of the car. 

“We also suffered a little bit with bad luck and on some occasions also here and there we didn't make the right strategy calls. 

“It was a difficult season where I would say there were different aspects that didn't play into our favour.”

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