Nico Müller admitted that he had found his drive to victory in the opening DTM race at the Hockenheimring both ‘exciting and stressful’ as he closed the gap to championship leader René Rast.
Müller passed Rast multiple times in the close race, including getting a better start than his title rival and beating him in the first corner.
Although Rast then came back at Müller before their pitstops, the Swiss was able to retake the lead as Rast emerged from his stop and held the upper hand at the half-way stage of the race.
Late in the race, Rast re-passed Müller, before the Abt Sportsline driver repeated Rast’s move into the hairpin five laps from the end.
Rast had planned a last-lap attack on Müller, but the chequered flag came out sooner than the German was expecting, allowing Müller to take his sixth win of the year and close the championship deficit to just 13 points ahead of Sunday’s qualifying and race.
“The race itself was super exciting, but knowing what’s on the table is making it even more stressful,” said Müller. “I tried to enjoy it as much as I could, actually because those are the races where you look back to and think ‘wow, that’s what I got to do in my life’ and it was just mega.
“To crown it with a victory and to keep the championship more open than ever going into the race tomorrow makes me very, very happy.”
Müller admitted that he is looking forward to Sunday’s grand finale, believing that he will rest easy tonight despite still being behind in the title battle.
“It’s a day I’ve been waiting for for a long, long time. To go out there and have the chance to make a life dream come true is already something big, but I’m motivated more than ever to try to do everything possible to make it happen.
“I think I will sleep very well tonight and then tomorrow we will just give it our all. After qualifying we might have to start calculating a bit for the first time this season, and then we will see.
“I will just leave it out there and hope for the best.
“We’ve got nothing to lose – it’s not like we have to conserve a lead or anything.
“We are gunning for our first title in this championship and we are the hunters. What is there to worry about? We just go all in and see what happens.”