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Robin Frijns rues start and pitstop errors in DTM race two

Robin Frijns scored a double-podium result in the opening DTM weekend at Hockenheim, but the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline driver was left wanting more after start and pitstop errors in race two cost him a chance to fight for the lead.

Frijns was promoted to third place on Saturday after fellow Audi driver René Rast retired from the opening race in the final six laps, and was quick enough for third in the dry second qualifying session on Sunday.

However, at the start of race two, the Dutchman struggled to pull away as the lights went out and dropped back to eighth place.

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“The start was absolutely shocking,” described the downbeat Frijns, “I stood still, had a lot of wheelspin and just couldn’t get going.”

Despite the poor start, Frijns was happy with the performance of his new Audi RS5 Turbo DTM car.

“The first couple of laps I was pretty much searching, not killing my tyres, the pace was there.

“The pace was good, I was really happy with the car.”

In the first dry race of the season, and with the new Class One machinery, the longevity of the tyres was in question. Frijn’s believed his car was one of the kindest to the Hankook’s.

“It seemed that people around me were struggling more with the tyres than I was.

“I was pretty good to keep them until the end.”

Then, on lap 22, Frijns headed to pitlane, but a slow stop meant he rejoined behind the BMW’s of Bruno Spengler and Philipp Eng, undoing the on-track passes he had made in the opening stint.

“Unfortunately I lost quite some time in the pitstop,” explained the Audi driver, “we had a very slow one so that dropped me back.

“I had to do the work like in the beginning of the race.”

With the double-podium finish and points in second qualifying, Frijns is the highest placed Audi in the championship standings and only five behind points leader BMW Team RMG driver Marco Wittmann.

Nonetheless it could have been even better for Frijns.

“It was really good battles, I really enjoyed it. It’s a bit unfortunate I lost a bit too much time in the pitstop.”

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