Rookie René Rast takes DTM title as Wittmann wins in Hockenheim finale

Rookie René Rast takes DTM title as Wittmann wins in Hockenheim finale

Photo: ITR e.V.

Audi Sport’s René Rast secured the 2017 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters drivers title in his rookie season at the Hockenheim  season finale, finishing three seconds behind race winner Marco Wittmann.

Team Rosberg driver Rast capitalised on his qualifying advantage over title rivals Mattias Ekström, Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller after he started second on the grid.

Rast lost positions after running wide at the start, but battled his way back through to finish second come the end of the race.

Meanwhile fellow championship contenders Jamie Green and Mattias Ekström made light contact on lap one and struggled to make progress until the end of the race, finishing fifth and eighth respectively.

Green and Ekström had started 14th and 15th on the grid, but Green would drop to last position at the end of the first lap.

Rockenfeller came into the race fourth in the drivers standings with an outside chance of the championship, and finished the race in third position.

At the start of the race, polesitter Tom Blomqvist led the way as Rast ran wide at the first corner and dropped down to fifth before passing the Mercedes duo of Robert Wickens and Lucas Auer by lap nine and moving up to third in doing so.

Race winner Wittmann closed in on the erstwhile leader Blomqvist approaching the end of his first stint, and would pit early on lap 13 to perform the undercut and leapfrog his fellow BMW driver.

Rast opted to stay out and extend his stint, pitting on the same lap as Audi stablemate Rockenfeller on lap 23, and would emerge ahead of Blomqvist but behind 2016 champion Wittmann.

Blomqvist applied pressure to Rast when the latter struggled on cold tyres, but Wickens would eventually relieve that pressure when he battled with Blomqvist and the pair eventually made contact.

Coming into the hairpin on lap 25, Wickens made a late lunge down the inside and damaged forced Blomqvist to retire with damage, while the Mercedes driver received a drive-through penalty for the incident.

Championship hopefuls Jamie Green and Mattias Ekström showed made good progress at the end of the race, but it was too little too late for the pair as Rast secured the title by finishing second.

Newly-crowned champion Rast took the title on 179 points, three clear of two-time title winner Ekström with Green a further three points adrift.

Finishing in fourth position was 2005 champion Gary Paffett, ahead of Green and BMW duo Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus.

Next was Ekström in eighth, ahead of Edoardo Mortara with fellow Mercedes driver Lucas Auer completing the top ten.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 36 56:47.699 1:32.973 3
2 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 36 3.143 1:33.083 2
3 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 36 6.280 1:32.457 7
4 2 Gary PAFFETT Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 36 15.844 1:32.998 9
5 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 36 17.835 1:32.456 15
6 36 Maxime MARTIN BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 36 19.372 1:33.150 6
7 15 Augusto FARFUS BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 36 20.386 1:33.240 8
8 5 Mattias EKSTRÖM Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 36 21.229 1:33.006 14
9 48 Edoardo MORTARA Mercedes-AMG Motorsport BWT Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 36 22.902 1:32.920 13
10 22 Lucas AUER Mercedes-AMG Motorsport BWT Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 36 29.260 1:33.313 4
11 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 36 30.428 1:33.002 11
12 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 36 33.274 1:33.378 10
13 63 Maro ENGEL Mercedes-AMG Motorsport SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 36 41.344 1:33.465 16
14 7 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 36 41.591 1:32.844 12
15 77 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 36 42.972 1:33.263 17
16 3 Paul DI RESTA Mercedes-AMG Motorsport SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 36 1:35.770 1:33.571 18
17 6 Robert WICKENS Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 29 + 7 Laps 1:32.954 5
R 31 Tom BLOMQVIST BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 26 DNF 1:33.352 1