René Rast closed the gap to DTM points leader Nico Müller with his third win of the season in race one at Zolder, as title rivals Robin Frijns and Müller completed the podium.
Rast claimed a comfortable lights-to-flag win in the opening race in Belgium as the Audi driver was never troubled at any stage in the race.
Romping clear at the start, behind the German BMW’s Timo Glock lost out from his front row starting position, being passed by both Frijns and Mike Rockenfeller in the first couple of turns.
Frijns then found himself falling away from Rast over the opening laps, before then losing out to Glock after his pitstop when the German passed him for second on lap 18, with Frijns, on colder tyres, forced to cut the chicane as a result.
However, with his tyres up to temperature, just six laps later Frijns re-claimed second from Glock, although by this stage he was over seven seconds behind Rast.
Points leader Müller was third, after the Swiss staged an impressive recovery drive, having qualified in just seventh.
Making up one place at the start, Müller ran in sixth in the early phase of the race, but after the pit stops he was up to fourth after jumping WRT’s Harrison Newey and gaining when Mike Rockenfeller had a very slow stop due to an issue with the air jack on his car.
Müller then passed Glock for third with a bold move nine laps from the end, going around the outside at the final chicane to claim his tenth podium of the year.
Glock was the best BMW driver in fourth, dropping back from Müller by 13 seconds in the final quarter of the race, ahead of Newey in fifth, the Brit easily having his best race of the season thus far.
Sheldon van der Linde was sixth, despite the BMW driver dropping back to 13th at the start from sixth on the grid after a poor first few turns.
WRT’s Ferdinand von Habsburg claimed seventh, ahead of the recovering Rockenfeller in eighth.
The top ten was completed by BMW’s Philipp Eng and Audi’s Loïc Duval, the latter having passed the BMW of Lucas Auer for the final point just two laps from the end.
Marco Wittmann had been running in fifth but the BMW driver reported an issue with shifting down the gears on lap 34, resulting in the two-time champion retiring to the pits.
Jamie Green also stopped after 29 laps, the Brit having earlier made contact whilst battling with Eng.
Rast’s 20th career victory moves him to 34 points from the championship lead, whilst Frijns outscored Müller to close the gap to 14 points for the Dutchman.
|1||33||René RAST||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||41||56:57.127||1:20.815||1|
|2||4||Robin FRIJNS||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||41||18.855||1:20.973||3|
|3||51||Nico MÜLLER||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||41||25.576||1:20.904||7|
|4||16||Timo GLOCK||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||41||38.513||1:21.067||2|
|5||10||Harrison NEWEY||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||41||39.071||1:21.108||8|
|6||31||Sheldon VAN DER LINDE||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||41||43.685||1:21.391||6|
|7||62||Ferdinand VON HABSBURG||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||41||44.926||1:21.519||12|
|8||99||Mike ROCKENFELLER||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||41||45.471||1:21.373||5|
|9||25||Philipp ENG||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||41||48.480||1:21.686||11|
|10||28||Loïc DUVAL||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||41||1:03.707||1:21.681||10|
|11||27||Jonathan ABERDEIN||BMW Team RMR||BMW M4 DTM||41||1:05.222||1:21.668||14|
|12||22||Lucas AUER||BMW Team RMR||BMW M4 DTM||41||1:06.205||1:21.831||9|
|13||13||Fabio SCHERER||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||41||1:12.156||1:21.609||16|
|14||8||Robert KUBICA||BMW Team ART||Audi RS5 DTM||40||+ 1 LAP||1:21.412||15|
|R||11||Marco WITTMANN||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||34||DNF||1:20.900||4|
|R||53||Jamie GREEN||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||29||DNF||1:21.139||13|