For those who followed the 2012 DTM season, there were many results come the end of the campaign which may have suprised some. BMW taking the title in the first season of its come back probably topped the bill for many, but for me, it was the overall performance of the Playboy Audi A5 driver, Edoardo Mortara.
To be fair, his performance shouldn’t be such a shock, not when you remember this guy took the 2010 Formula 3 Euro Series title, a series also won by the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean, Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg. His performances in the legendary Macau GP for Formula 3 cars isn’t too shabby either, having taken 3 wins on the famously tricky street circuit.
Mortara switched to Tin Top Racing in 2011, driving an Audi A4 for Team Rosberg in the DTM, replacing Markus Winkelhock in the Playboy backed machine. His touring car career gradually started to gain momentum from there, and taking 5th place at the Norisring mid-season was the catalyst for a great run of results, including two consecutive podiums at Brands Hatch and Oschersleben.
2012 was a big year in the DTM, with the introduction of the new regulations and the return of BMW. This didn’t seem to phase Mortara, however. The season started slowly for him, scraping through to two low points finishes out of the first three races. But at round 4, Mortara showed he last none of his talent by storming to pole at the Austrian A1 Ring circuit, his first in the DTM. From there, he would fend off former champions Martin Tomczyk and Gary Paffett.
Similar success would come at Zandvoort a couple of rounds afterwards. Having taken n impressive second to eventual champion Bruno Spengler at Nurburgring at the previous round, Mortara beat Audi team-mate Mike Rockenfeeler, who had been over-cautious in the changeable conditions, to take the honours. He was looking good for a second place at Valencia too, only for a driveshaft to fail and send into the gravel. That mechanical failure had far larger repercussions than first realised, as it meant Rockenfeller would finish ahead of Edoardo in the final standings and wrap up the campaign ad the highest placed Audi driver. It has to be said, that was a little harsh on the Italian. Especially when you consider he was the only Audi man to win a race all season, and remember this was a Audi line-up that included former multiple champions Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekstrom.
Thankfully, Edo’ will be returning for 2013, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be up there mounting a serious title challenge when we get to Hockenheim for the final round of the season.