René Rast storms to Saturday DTM victory after late race battle

René Rast storms to Saturday DTM victory after late race battle

Photo: Audi

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast stormed to another DTM race victory in the Saturday event at Hockenheim, the 2019 series champion had to fight off a late charge from BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann who passed for the lead with 13 laps to go. Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller completed the podium.

Rast made a clean start to lead into the first corner, whilst Rockenfeller managed to pass Wittmann into the hairpin for second place.

Honda Team Kunimitsu driver Jenson Button only dropped one position from the standing start, a feature of the DTM that SuperGT drivers have had to adapt to.

BMW Team RMR’s Timo Glock was the first driver to make a his mandatory stop, but was forced in earlier than he may have wanted as the left-side door appeared to be coming loose.

Rast quickly set about gapping the chasing pack, and by lap four held a 1.6 second lead over Rockenfeller, and despite the latter’s best efforts Rast extended the gap to three seconds when Rockenfeller made his mandatory stop on lap 15.

The race leader would pit three laps later, and was in his pitbox as the safety car was called out on lap 18. BMW Team RMR’s Philipp Eng had stopped mid-way through the long Parabolika, and despite pulling aside at an opening in the barrier, the race director saw it best to neutralise the race.

At the restart on lap 22, Rast was able to defend his lead from Wittmann as behind Rockenfeller and Glock banged doors through turn one.

As the field reached the Mercedes Arena at Turn 8, both Audi Sport Team WRT cars collided, and as a result Pietro Fittipaldi was handed a drive-through penalty for causing a collision.

It was not a straight forward run to the flag for Rast, as Wittmann was able to close up to the Audi driver and pass him into the Turn 7 hairpin on lap 25.

However, a lap later the 2019 champion performed a mirror image of Wittmann’s move to retake the lead, and held a gap at the flag.

Rast scored his seventh DTM race win of the year, as Wittmann and Rockenfeller scored their third and fifth non-winning podium finishes respectively.

Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Robin Frijns took the flag in fourth place, seven seconds off the podium.

Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Loïc Duval came home fifth after a late race battle with Glock that saw the drivers go exchange positions multiple times. The BMW driver showed excellent pace to climb back through the field after a long stop for the door change on lap 10.

Paul Di Resta was the best placed of the R-Motorsports Aston Martins, climbing from 15th on the grid to score points for the first time since Assen race two.

BMW Team RMG’s Bruno Spengler crossed the line eighth, ahead of Button who took an excellent ninth placed finish. The British driver suffered a slow stop during his sole visit to pitlane, dropping from the top five to outside the top 15, but the 2009 F1 champion was able to race hard in the final laps and was elevated to the top ten after Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller pitted for a second time on lap 33.

BMW Team RBM’s Joel Eriksson crossed the line tenth, but will score ninth place points as the SuperGT cars are not eligible to score.

R-Motorsports’ Jake Dennis took the flag in eleventh, 37.9 seconds off Rast, but will score the final DTM point.

Lexus Team Tom’s driver Ryō Hirakawa finished in 13th after a relatively uneventful race, as Nissan Nismo’s Tsugio Matsuda was unable to take the start due to a propshaft failure, but was able to rejoin the action on lap 18, and finished the race in 18th place.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 38 1:01:00.948 1:31.376 1
2 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 38 1.693 1:31.135 2
3 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 38 10.697 1:31.872 3
4 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 38 17.795 1:31.879 8
5 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 38 24.224 1:32.578 5
6 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 38 25.760 1:32.015 7
7 3 Paul DI RESTA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 38 26.439 1:32.547 15
8 7 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 38 27.270 1:32.644 14
9 1 Jenson BUTTON Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX-GT GT500 38 31.492 1:32.698 6
10 47 Joel ERIKSSON BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 38 31.868 1:33.141 10
11 76 Jake DENNIS R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 38 37.997 1:32.992 13
12 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 38 38.442 1:32.544 17
13 37 Ryo HIRAKAWA Lexus Team KeePer TOM’S Lexus LC 500 GT500 38 40.958 1:32.536 19
14 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 38 46.931 1:32.192 4
15 21 Pietro FITTIPALDI Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 38 59.196 1:32.211 18
16 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 38 59.602 1:32.198 9
17 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 38 1:01.596 1:30.927 11
R 35 Tsugio MATSUDA Nismo Nissan GT-R Nismo GT500 21 DNF 1:33.619 20
R 23 Daniel JUNCADELLA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 20 DNF 1:33.328 12
R 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 17 DNF 1:33.366 16
NS 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM DNS N/A
DTM points deficit after Round 17
Graphic: TouringCars.Net