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René Rast wins race one despite early race mistake

René Rast claimed his second DTM win of the season in race one at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, fending off a late challenge from Nico Müller despite Rast making a mistake early in the race.

At the start of the race pole-sitter Müller moved into a comfortable lead, whilst his team-mate Robin Frijns assumed second after Rast had made a poor getaway from the front row of the grid.

That allowed BMW’s Philipp Eng into third for a handful of corners, although Rast was able to re-take the position further around the opening tour at Turn 10.

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Over the opening stint of the race points leader Müller opened up a near four-second advantage over Dutchman Frijns, as the Swiss mastered the wet, but drying, track conditions.

Rast, at this stage running in third, then dropped to fourth when he went off into the gravel at Turn 10 on lap six, although he would regain the position two laps later at the first corner.

Of the front-runners the first to pit for slick tyres were BMW’s Philipp Eng and Wittmann on lap 12, followed by Frijns and Rast on the following lap.

Müller left it just one lap later to make his mandatory stop, but when he emerged from the pits he was unable to keep the earlier pitting cars behind and Frijns, Eng and Wittmann followed past in a succession of corners in the second half of the lap.

Crucially, Rast passed his title rival on the following lap with the use of DRS, the German’s tyres being just one lap warmer than the Swiss’.

As Frijns led from Wittmann and Eng in the second half of the race, Rast in fourth was making inroads into the cars ahead. On lap 20 Rast passed Eng for third at Turn 1, before taking second from Wittmann three laps later.

Rast then passed Frijns for the lead five laps from the finish, again using the advantage of DRS and push-to-pass on the start straight to draw close, before completing the pass through Turns 2 and 3.

Müller followed Rast through three laps from the finish, leaving Frijns to complete the podium in third.

Timo Glock ended the race as the best of the BMW drivers, coming through from last on the grid to pass both Wittmann and Eng in the closing laps as the former F1 driver had comfortably more pace.

Wittmann claimed fifth, ahead of the second Team Phoenix Audi of Mike Rockenfeller in sixth.

Audi’s Loïc Duval came out as the biggest benefactor in a late-race scrap with Sheldon van der Linde and Ferdinand von Habsburg and was seventh, also passing Philipp Eng, eighth, late in the race.

Van der Linde was ninth, whilst the top ten was completed by Audi’s Jamie Green, as Habsburg slipped back late on.

Victory has seen Rast reduced Müller’s championship lead by six points, with Müller on 121 to Rast’s 88.

Race result

1 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 32 57:50.862 1:38.813 2
2 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 32 1.969 1:38.418 1
3 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 32 4.922 1:39.000 3
4 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 32 7.590 1:39.295 16
5 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 32 13.282 1:39.135 5
6 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 32 19.371 1:39.263 4
7 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 32 20.273 1:39.178 9
8 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 32 21.829 1:40.022 7
9 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 32 22.665 1:39.525 8
10 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 32 25.389 1:39.539 15
11 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 32 26.431 1:39.309 10
12 22 Lucas AUER BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 32 29.221 1:39.734 6
13 13 Fabio SCHERER Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 32 29.610 1:39.562 13
14 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 32 43.323 1:38.644 12
15 10 Harrison NEWEY Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 32 51.275 1:39.005 11
16 8 Robert KUBICA BMW Team ART BMW M4 DTM 32 1:09.158 1:40.715 14
DTM points deficit after Round 5
Graphic: TouringCars.Net
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