René Rast recovers from stall to win race one at the Norisring

René Rast recovers from stall to win race one at the Norisring

Audi Sport RS 5 DTM #33 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg), René Rast

Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver René Rast took victory in DTM race one at the Norisring, over 30 seconds ahead of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller, despite stalling on the grid when the lights went out.

Rast qualified in fifth but was promoted to third after BMW Team RMR’s Philipp Eng was demoted for blocking in qualifying, and the two Audi Sport Team Phoenix cars of Mike Rockenfeller and Loïc Duval were disqualified for breaking Parc fermé rules.

As the lights went out Müller was able to defend his pole position, as those behind argued over space at the Grundig Hairpin, but further down the order Rast failed to get going. The 2017 DTM champion was quick to react to the stall and joined the tail end of the pack.

Down the order, Rast and his Team Rosberg squad joined a number of others who decided to pit on lap three, a masterstroke as a lap later the safety car was called out to recover the stranded Audi Sport Team WRT car of Pietro Fittipaldi who was damaged from lap one contact.

At the Indy-style restart on lap 10, Müller once again defended his lead from BMW Team RMG’s Bruno Spengler, as Eng and Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s Jamie Green battled for third.

In tenth place, Rast was the highest of those who had made a mandatory stop, and looked in the hot seat to win.

At halfway Müller finally made his stop, and Rast inherited the lead quickly building a gap of nearly 20 seconds to BMW Team RBM’s Joel Eriksson who was in second.

Rast held a half minute lead over Müller at the line, who had fought back through to the podium from seventh and passed Eriksson at the final corner to steal the second step on the podium.

The win is the second largest in DTM history, after Mattias Ekström’s 42-second winning margin at Oschersleben in 2011.

In fourth was Duval who started on the final row of the grid, and pitted after the safety car, the Frenchman displaying incredible pace.

Spengler crossed the line in fifth after a busy race. The Canadian, who previously held the race lap record at the Norisring, was locked in a race long battle with Eng, and climbed two more positions in the closing laps.

R-Motorsport’s Daniel Juncadella scored a sensational sixth place, matching the best result for the new Aston Martin Vantage. The Spaniard made his mandatory pitstop seconds before the safety car was deployed, and fought hard to close on, and pass BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann with a daring move round the outside of the Schöller-S with five laps to go.

Eng took the checkered flag in seventh, ahead of home hero Wittmann who was fading in the second half of the race with tyre issues and the final finisher on the lead lap.

R-Motorsport’s Jake Dennis scored points in ninth, ahead of Ferdinand Von Habsburg in tenth, the duo helping Aston Martin to it’s greatest points haul in DTM.

After notching up another win, Rast has moved 21 points clear of Müller who moves to second in the standings.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 69 57:31.554 47.554 3
2 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 69 34.498 47.391 1
3 47 Joel ERIKSSON BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 69 34.692 47.961 4
4 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 69 39.521 47.415 17
5 7 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 69 42.111 47.725 2
6 23 Daniel JUNCADELLA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 69 43.581 48.456 11
7 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 69 45.357 47.496 5
8 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 69 48.526 47.834 6
9 76 Jake DENNIS R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 68 + 1 LAP 48.567 16
10 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 68 + 1 LAP 48.307 15
11 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 68 + 1 LAP 47.870 8
12 3 Paul DI RESTA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 67 + 2 LAPS 48.347 14
13 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 66 + 3 LAPS 48.588 7
R 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 31 DNF 48.213 10
R 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 28 DNF 47.780 9
R 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 25 DNF 47.847 18
R 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 9 DNF 47.940 12
R 21 Pietro FITTIPALDI Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 0 DNF N/A 13