Robin Frijns has dropped to 41 points off the lead of the DTM standings after he was taken out of the second DTM race at Zolder on Sunday, with the Dutchman now only having an outside chance at the title next month.
Frijns had just passed WRT’s Fabio Scherer on the second lap of the race, when BMW’s Jonathan Aberdein speared into Scherer on the approach to Turn 8.
The South African knocked Scherer’s RS5 sideways into the corner, with the innocent Frijns up ahead taken out of the race in the process.
“There was contact between me and Fabio Scherer on the entry to turn eight,” explained Aberdein of the incident. “It might have been a misjudgement on my part, but I will have to take a closer look at it again to understand what actually happened.
“It was a disappointing end to what had otherwise been a good weekend.”
Scherer, who had enjoyed a season-best qualifying effort earlier in the day, added that he had been struggling to get heat into his tyres early in the race, which had meant he was falling back into the clutches of pursuing drivers early in the race.
“It’s a real shame,” said Scherer. “I had quite a good start and took my position, so it was alright.
“Then I struggled a bit with pace, but not too bad, I think it just took me one or two laps too long to bring the tyres in, but still I think I could have held P5 quite clearly.
“Sadly I got a hit from the back and I couldn’t do anything different. He [Aberdein] was already here to say sorry for it, but it’s quite bad what happened.
“I’m sorry as well for Robin that he got hit by us; that’s a shame.”
With Rast winning and Nico Müller finishing in second, another non-score – just two weeks after his first DNF of the season – could not have been a worse result for Frijns.
“I had overtaken Fabio shortly before the accident and didn’t even realize what was happening behind me,” said Frijns. “All of a sudden, I felt a hard hit and the race was over.
“It is very disappointing.”
Frijns now only has an outside chance of the title, as there are just 56 points available at Hockenheim, with the Abt Sportsline driver 41 adrift.