René Rast scored his fourth DTM victory of the season, after the Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver kept Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller at bay in the final laps of the Sunday race at Brands Hatch.
The 2017 champion looked in command of the race, and was only threatened by Müller in the final three laps as the Swiss driver utilised his excess DRS and push-to-pass.
As the lights went out Rast struggled to get away and lost out immediately to Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Loïc Duval. However, the Frenchman did not defend from the championship leader on the run to Hawthorns Bend, and Rast retook the lead.
Further back, Audi Sport Team WRT’s Pietro Fittipaldi made a slow getaway and slipped out of the top ten from seventh on the grid.
There was further drama amongst the front eight Audi’s as Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s Jamie Green was handed a five second penalty for being out of position at the start.
The leading duo hit made their mandatory stop on lap 11, but an issue with the left-rear tyre change saw Müller drop to over five seconds behind championship rival Rast.
The Swiss driver sought about lowering the gap to the effective race leader, and within 10 laps was back within two seconds of Rast.
BMW Team RMR’s Philipp Eng made his compulsory visit to pitlane on lap 22, the Austrian dropping to 9th as Rast regained the lead.
The race was briefly interrupted by a slow zone between Clearways and Druids, as the BMW Team RBM car of Joel Eriksson lost power out of Clarke Curve and stopped near pit exit, but the lead gap was unaffected.
In the final laps Müller closed significantly, and with push-to-pass and DRS available, the Swiss driver was looking for a way past.
As they started the final lap, separated by less than three tenths, it looked like Müller could pass, but he would have only one shot at the lead. Rast had the measure of his Audi rival, and held on to take his first victory from pole this season.
In the run to the line, Rast lead Müller across the line by 0.2 seconds, and Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Robin Frijns closed within three tenths of his teammate, meaning the podium was separated by half a second.
Duval held on to his fourth place after Eng made numerous attempts to pass the Frenchman in the closing fifteen laps. The Austrian was the best placed BMW in the field.
Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller crossed the line in sixth, to score points in five consecutive races.
BMW Team RBM’s Sheldon van der Linde finished in seventh, a strong race from the South African rookie who started from 13th on the grid.
R-Motorsport’s Daniel Juncadella converted a top ten qualifying into a points finish, taking the checkered flag in eighth ahead of fellow Aston Martin driver Jake Dennis who climbed from the back row to score in ninth.
BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann scored the final point in tenth after utilising an alternative strategy and pitted during the mid-race slow zone. Nevertheless, the BMW driver has lost out significantly to his championship rivals Rast and Müller.
|1||33||René RAST||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||42||57:28.564||1:19.347||1|
|2||51||Nico MÜLLER||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||42||0.240||1:18.977||6|
|3||4||Robin FRIJNS||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||42||0.598||1:18.979||3|
|4||28||Loïc DUVAL||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||42||2.362||1:19.308||2|
|5||25||Philipp ENG||BMW Team RMR||BMW M4 DTM||42||2.889||1:19.351||9|
|6||99||Mike ROCKENFELLER||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||42||3.523||1:19.405||5|
|7||31||Sheldon VAN DER LINDE||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||42||4.789||1:19.139||13|
|8||23||Daniel JUNCADELLA||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||42||5.229||1:19.551||10|
|9||76||Jake DENNIS||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||42||6.193||1:18.827||17|
|10||11||Marco WITTMANN||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||42||7.837||1:18.316||12|
|11||62||Ferdinand VON HABSBURG||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||42||12.091||1:18.969||18|
|12||16||Timo GLOCK||BMW Team RMR||BMW M4 DTM||42||20.594||1:18.186||11|
|13||27||Jonathan ABERDEIN||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||42||27.882||1:19.106||8|
|14||3||Paul DI RESTA||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||42||35.392||1:19.136||15|
|15||53||Jamie GREEN||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||42||51.851||1:18.953||4|
|16||21||Pietro FITTIPALDI||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||42||55.065||1:18.169||7|
|R||7||Bruno SPENGLER||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||21||DNF||1:19.086||16|
|R||47||Joel ERIKSSON||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||20||DNF||1:18.507||14|