It was a very chaotic start to the Saturday race in DTM at Norisring.
Around half an hour before race start, there was a huge shower, which left a big amount of water on the track. So there was no doubt about the choice of raintires for all the cars.
Maro Engel spun on the formation lap, so he had to start the race from dead-last.
Maxime Martin had a really bad start from Pole Position, where he together with Rene Rast got overtaken by Bruno Spengler.
There was several crashes in turn one. Lucas Auer outbraked himself going into turn one, and when he came back on the track, he collided with two other guys who were side by side, and he went into the wall. That broke his rear suspension and he had to retire. Robert Wickens also had to retire after a contact in turn one.
While Spengler drove away at the front, Maxime Martin and Mattias Ekström were battling for second while Rene Rast was all alone in fourth.
Augusto Farfus had to retire early due to mechanical problems.
15 minutes into the race we saw a dry line on the track, so the teams began to test their luck with the slicks.
Jamie Green was the first guy to change to dry weather tires and had to fight with the car until he got heat into the slicks.
Tom Blomqvist was the next into the pits, followed by Maro Engel. So by that all three brands had a guy on slicks.
After that all other guys followed them.
Edoardo Mortara was the last driver changing, and that had gained him quite a few positions. He was outside of top five before the pitstops started, and after all the pitstops he was up to fourth.
Rene Rast got a drive-through penalty for crossing the yellow line at the pit exit, and that send him all the way back to 14th.
Maxime Martin had a lot of speed, and quickly caught up with Bruno Spengler, and that made the two BMW colleagues being really close to each other for some laps, before Audi Sport driver Mattias Ekström joined them.
Mike Rockenfeller punted Edoardo Mortara off the track halfway into the race, and that gave a drive-through penalty for Rocky.
Ekström outbraked himself into turn one, during an overtaking attempt on Martin, and that cost a bit of time. The Swede however fought back and joined Martin’s rear bumper again.
Mortara made an overtaking attempt on Jamie Green, but he braked too late and went on the wet asphalt, where he lost the position again.
Ekström made another try to overtake Martin, but couldn’t get the car to stop and had to give up the position again.
So the result was a BMW one-two ahead of Audi, before Marco Wittmann, Timo Glock and Tom Blomqvist put a total of five BMWs into top six. The best Mercedes-AMG driver was Edoardo Mortara in eighth.
This victory was the first for Spengler in 4 years. His previous win was at the Red Bull Ring on June 2nd 2013.
Mattias Ekström hereby took the lead in the DTM Championship, before the second race of the weekend will be run on Sunday afternoon.