Nico Müller extended his championship lead at the top of the DTM standings with a controlled victory in the opening race at the Nürburgring, finishing over 15 seconds ahead of fellow Audi driver René Rast.
Müller started the race from pole position and was never really changed during the race in sunny conditions in the Eifel region, with Rast providing the closest competition in the early stages of the race.
By the time the Swiss racer made his mandatory pit stop on lap 12 he had opened up an advantage of three seconds, which he extended in the second phase of the race on fresh rubber to a comfortable 15.655 seconds.
Rast claimed second, but had to battle hard with Robin Frijns for the position, which in turn helped Müller to get away at the front.
The battle came to a head just four laps from the finish when Frijns, clearly faster than Rast and on tyres which were a lap newer, used to DRS to make a move into Turn 1, but the dutchman carried too much speed and clattered the inside kerb before spinning out.
The pirouette for Frijns dropped him two places, with BMW’s Marco Wittmann and Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller also getting past.
Wittmann ran fifth in the early phases of the race but the two-time champion closed up to Rockenfeller with fresher rubber and on lap 23 made a pass on his fellow German at Turn 1, although it took until Turn 4 for the move to be completed.
Rockenfeller claimed fourth, just ahead of the recovering Frijns, who remains second in the points in fifth.
BMW’s Philipp Eng was sixth, ahead of stable-mate Timo Glock in seventh, with Glock having gained a place when he passed Audi’s Loïc Duval in the pitstop phase of the race with a faster tyre change.
BMW’s Sheldon van der Linde was eighth, the South African gaining a place due to a penalty for Duval which came for corssing the white line at the pit entrance.
Duval nonetheless lost just one place for his penalty, originally five seconds but increased to ten before the end of the race, with BMW’s Jonathan Aberdein completing the top ten.
Aberdein only gained the final points-paying position because team-mate Lucas Auer was given a post-race four-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
That also promoted WRT’s Ferdinand von Habsburg to 11th, ahead of his fellow Austrian Auer, who was thus 12th.
All 16 drivers finished the race, with Team ART’s Robert Kubica in last, 25 seconds behind the next nearest car and with a fastest race lap which was over two seconds slower than the best.
|1||51||Nico MÜLLER||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||31||58:10.251||1:49.975||1|
|2||33||René RAST||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||31||15.655||1:50.512||2|
|3||11||Marco WITTMANN||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||31||18.141||1:51.016||4|
|4||99||Mike ROCKENFELLER||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||31||20.842||1:50.998||5|
|5||4||Robin FRIJNS||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||31||22.978||1:50.788||3|
|6||25||Philipp ENG||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||31||23.389||1:51.114||9|
|7||16||Timo GLOCK||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||31||28.101||1:50.901||12|
|8||31||Sheldon VAN DER LINDE||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||31||31.236||1:51.184||6|
|9||28||Loïc DUVAL||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||31||38.442||1:51.094||8|
|10||27||Jonathan ABERDEIN||BMW Team RMR||BMW M4 DTM||31||46.735||1:50.765||16|
|11||62||Ferdinand VON HABSBURG||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||31||47.537||1:51.571||11|
|12||22||Lucas AUER||BMW Team RMR||BMW M4 DTM||31||47.905||1:51.380||10|
|13||53||Jamie GREEN||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||31||49.168||1:50.556||7|
|14||10||Harrison NEWEY||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||31||50.200||1:51.002||13|
|15||13||Fabio SCHERER||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||31||51.984||1:51.064||15|
|16||8||Robert KUBICA||BMW Team ART||Audi RS5 DTM||31||1:16.023||1:52.206||14|