It was a highly dramatic Sunday race for DTM at Norisring.
The Poleman Tom Blomqvist got a really bad start and was only sixth going out of turn one.
Lucas Auer, Tom Blomqvist, Augusto Farfus, Jamie Green and Maro Engel dived into the pits after lap one for their mandatory pitstop while Timo Glock and Marco Wittmann came in on the second lap.
Jamie Green madea great overtaking going into turn one, where he went three-wide with Tom Blomqvist and Timo Glock, and drove past both.
Mattias Ekström and Wittmann rubbed bumpers going into turn one, and even though Ekström lost a few spots initially, he was in front, later on the same lap. This was only the warm-up for what would happen later in the race.
Paul Di Resta waited all the way until lap 17 before pitting, while Edoardo Mortara waited even longer until lap 20. So at that point we only had Loic Duval, who still hadn’t pitted.
After 24 laps of the race, there was a collision between Rene Rast and Robert Wickens. Rast was on the inside and pulled out towards the wall. Wickens just kept his foot in and pushed Rast more than 100 meters along the wall. The incident resulted in a Safety Car period, but they both had recovered before the Safety Car made its way onto the track.
That exact Safety Car period would be the end to all of Duval’s hopes of points, since he dropped from the lead to last position, after his pitstop.
Maxime Martin used a fight between Lucas Auer and Loic Duval at the restart of the race, and took over the lead.
Shortly afterwards we had the race red-flagged, after a serious accident between Gary Paffett and Mike Rockenfeller. Paffett his a bump on the track during his braking, and lost the car. The car went into the barrier at top speed, and first impacted one end of the car, and then the other, before it slid uncontrollably straight into the side of Rockenfeller’s Audi, which ripped off the door of the Audi.
Rockenfeller was quickly out of the car, but was limping around and had to go for further checks. It took a bit longer before Paffett came out of the car, but after the doctors had said ok, he could leave the car by himself.
The reason for the red flag was the heavy crash, so the doctors could get to the cars fast, plus all the debries and barrier damage.
After more than 30 minutes stoppage, they were ready to race again. Lucas Auer was quick to dive inside Maxime Martin, but a few laps later we had Martin back in the lead again. And from then on, Martin could keep the lead until the chequered flag.
There was huge drama again on the last two laps, where Lucas Auer drove slower and slower. It slowed down Marco Wittmann so much that Mattias Ekström could dive past the defending Champion. Wittmann made an idiotic manoeuvre into the last corner, on the final lap, where he hit Ekström so Ekström was sent off-line. That opened the door to Edoardo Mortara, who grabbed third place and made it a BMW Mücke Motorsport 2-3 podium.
There will for sure be a queue at the race officials for the next few hours, since Audi Sport already has had some issues with BMW over the last few weekends on and off the track. It’s quite likely that they will complain about Wittmanns manoeuvre, but it’s all up to the stewards to decide, if he should have a penalty or not.
Mattias Ekström continues to lead the Championship, but Lucas Auer is only two points behind him, while Maxime Martin has made it all the way up to third, followed by Jamie Green.
The next round will be held at Moscow Raceway in three weeks’ time.