René Rast closes on second DTM title with Saturday Nürburgring win

René Rast closes on second DTM title with Saturday Nürburgring win

René Rast
Photo: Audi

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast scored a lights-to-flag victory at the Nürburgring to put one hand on the DTM title as main championship rival Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller finishes last.

Rast lead home the two BMW Team RMG drivers of Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann, that latter climbing to the podium from 11th on the grid.

Away from the line and Rast moved aside to block what appeared to be a fast starting Müller. However, the Swiss driver was immediately under investigation, and the stewards deemed him to have pulled away before lights-out.

Müller served his drive-through penalty on the third lap as Rast extended his lead to nearly three seconds over Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller.

Müller would make his compulsory visit to pitlane on lap six, dropping to nearly a lap behind the race leader.

Rast continually extended his lead over the chasing pack to over five seconds before he made his mandatory pitstop on lap 17.

Despite holding a five second lead over Rockenfeller after the stop, the gap began to close and was reduced to two seconds before the Team Phoenix driver was forced to stop with a suspected engine issue.

Rast therefore held a 15 second lead over Spengler, a gap that the 2017 series champion would manage to the checkered flag.

Positions fourth through to eighth were undecided until the final corner, with Audi Sport Team WRT’s Jonathan Aberdein able to gap the battling pack of Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Loïc Duval, Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s Jamie Green and the two BMW Team RBM drivers Sheldon Van der Linde, and Joel Eriksson following a scintillating battle that lasted the entirety of the race.

There were a number of exceptional overtaking manoeuvres, the most notable being Duval’s last corner move on Green to steal fifth.

BMW Team RMR’s Timo Glock took the checkered flag in ninth place as Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Robin Frijns rounded out the top ten – although the Dutchman was later excluded from the result for using a tyre which was not assigned to his car.

The Dutchman produced the highlight of the race, passing both R-Motorsport’s Paul Di Resta and Müller on lap 29 in a three-wide pass at the tight hairpin Turn 1.

Daniel Juncadella was the best placed R-Motorsports driver, crossing the line in 11th, 1.5 seconds off the a points paying position.

With Müller not scoring, and Rast taking the maximum from Saturday’s action, the latter has extended his championship lead to 47 points with three races remaining.

Amended race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 41 57:29.693 1:21.358 1
2 7 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 41 10.787 1:21.900 2
3 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 41 17.299 1:22.249 11
4 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 41 24.537 1:21.784 5
5 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 41 27.158 1:22.169 8
6 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 41 27.338 1:22.462 9
7 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 41 27.650 1:21.936 6
8 47 Joel ERIKSSON BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 41 27.880 1:22.410 13
9 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 41 30.924 1:22.548 7
10 23 Daniel JUNCADELLA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 41 32.590 1:22.613 14
11 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 41 38.344 1:23.006 16
12 3 Paul DI RESTA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 41 42.114 1:22.923 12
13 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 41 45.746 1:22.884 17
14 21 Pietro FITTIPALDI Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 41 1:04.566 1:22.905 15
15 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 41 1:09.161 1:21.802 3
R 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 25 DNF 1:21.915 4
R 76 Jake DENNIS R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 25 DNF 1:22.966 18
EX 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 41 31.025 1:22.954 10
DTM points deficit after Round 15
Graphic: TouringCars.Net