BMW's Marco Wittmann is aiming to reignite the defence of his 2014 DTM title with the help of podium finishes this weekend during rounds seven and eight at Zandvoort.

The RMG driver came through the opening practice with the fourth quickest time, just two-tenths away from the pace-setting Audi of Mike Rockenfeller.

Unlike this stage last season, Wittmann has a herculean task on his hands if he wants to successfully defend his maiden DTM title. The BMW M4 driver is already a massive 67-points back from leader Jamie Green.

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Wittmann, though, was positive following the first free practice of the weekend but was quick to point out that qualifying will serve as true barometer of performance.

"Definitely, it's nice to be back towards the top and start a weekend like that," Wittmann told crash.net "As you know we've struggled in the first six races of the season so it's always nice to start the weekend well as it gives you the confidence.

"I think we'll get the proper reading of where everyone is in qualifying. Everyone is on different programmes, especially on a Friday so it's hard to judge.

"First of all it's important to focus on ourselves and improve the car. It was quite a good day today so now we'll try to continue that on that step for tomorrow."

The 25-year old insists he hasn't given up hope on clinching this year's championship but concedes it's a difficult position he finds himself.

"First of all it's important to get a good qualifying to have a good grid position for the races. Target will be to definitely score some good points. A podium would be nice, that's more or the less the target but we'll have to see how it goes," the RMG driver continued.

"It's still possible. I will never give up even though it doesn't look too good at the moment. The season is long; we still have six race weekends to go. I will try my best. If it's possible, OK."