Defending champion René Rast was delighted to make Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters history by securing a record fifth consecutive victory with a win in the opening Hockenheim race.
The Audi Sport Team Rosberg racer enjoyed a titanic battle with title rival Gary Paffett after attempting to undercut the Mercedes driver and then trading positions thereafter.
He nailed the Indy-style restart and headed home an Audi 1-2 with Robin Frijns closing in late-race.
The result brought Rast’s deficit to new championship leader Gary Paffett to just 15 points, and just nine adrift of erstwhile leader Paul Di Resta, with 28 up for grabs in tomorrow’s season finale.
“That was an incredible race and a fantastic duel with Gary,” said Rast.
“No one has ever achieved five victories in a row in the DTM. Our goal was to keep the championship open up until the last race on Sunday.
“We managed to do that and have further reduced the gap to Gary and Paul in the championship. We obviously have to make up a lot of points tomorrow, but we’re not giving up and will keep pushing.”
The final race of the 2018 DTM season gets underway tomorrow at 13:00 at Hockenheim.