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Vietoris scores unexpected first win

Photo by Daimler AGMercedes-Benz’s Christian Vietoris scored an unexpected first win in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters in an exciting rain-affected race at Oschersleben, ahead of Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller and Edoardo Mortara.

In a race heavily affected by the rain, Vietoris came through with a superb strategy to take the win, just two weeks after Mercedes’ disastrous season-opener at the Hockenheimring. Even just before the half-way stage of the race, the German had been running down in 20th position. However a trio of safety car interventions at just the right time allowed Vietoris to claim his first win in the series, despite posting posting the second-slowest personal best lap of the race.

Reigning champion Rockenfeller finished in second, having himself had an eventful race mostly spent in the middle of the pack.  The Phoenix Audi driver finished ahead of Abt Audi’s Mortara, who early in the race survived a spin after contact from Mercedes’ Pascal Wehrlein.

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Fourth went to Mercedes’ Paul di Resta, who had a strong second half of the race, despite an off through the gravel trap when Timo Glock hit Rockenfeller ahead of the Scot.

Fifth went to top BMW driver Augusto Farfus, who had a quieter race than most.

Short-time Saturday poleman Miguel Molina took the flag in sixth, having started the race from the very back of the grid due to his qualifying exclusion. The Spaniard managed to post the fastest lap of the race in a strong recovery drive.

Timo Scheider was seventh, despite having spent much of the race running in either second or third. The Phoenix Audi driver lost out at the final round of pitstops, however.

Gary Paffett made it three Mercedes inside the top ten in eighth, despite having been caught out during the first safety car phase when the Brit was leading the pack on slick tyres on a wet circuit, unable to pit for new tyres due to the DTM’s safety car pit-window rules.

Completing the top ten were BMW’s Martin Tomczyk and Audi’s Adrien Tambay, who both lost ground during the final round of pitstops.

Despite the relief with the victory, there were retirements for three of Mercedes’ drivers. Robert Wickens caused the first safety car stoppage when he went straight on at the Hasseröder curve, having made contact with Molina at the previous corner.

BMW’s Timo Glock retired after 13 laps and caused the second safety car period after making contact with Rockenfeller whilst trying to pass the Audi driver at the Amman Kurve.

The final safety car period was caused by Wehrlein going straight on at turn one and beeching his car in the gravel. His team-mate Daniel Juncadella was earlier forced into retirement following a spin and resulting contact with Vitaly Petrov.

Top ten result

1 5 Christian VIETORIS Original-Teile AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 44 1:15:28.785 1:32.892 16
2 1 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 44 0.674 1:25.615 5
3 15 Edoardo MORTARA Audi Sport Team Abt Audi RS5 DTM 44 7.769 1:26.521 7
4 6 Paul di RESTA AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 44 8.906 1:26.576 20
5 3 Augusto FARFUS BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 44 9.326 1:25.870 8
6 8 Miguel MOLINA Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 44 13.051 1:23.597 23
7 2 Timo SCHEIDER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 44 20.503 1:24.645 4
8 11 Gary PAFFETT EURONICS AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 44 20.597 1:24.438 17
9 10 Martin TOMCZYK BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M4 DTM 44 23.079 1:24.719 12
10 16 Adrien TAMBAY Audi Sport Team Abt Audi RS5 DTM 44 24.34 1:24.427 2

Complete race results

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