There were changes at the top of the championship standings when Round 11 of this years DTM season was held in Zandvoort.
It was a complete BMW front with Timo Glock ahead of Augusto Farfus, Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin. Then we had Rene Rast and Loic Duval in Audi, ahead of Tom Blomqvist in BMW, sneaking ahead of first Mercedes man, Gary Paffett. There was a sudden shower during the qualifying session, and that meant that Championship leader Mattias Ekström was only 10th to start the race, while the best Mercedes man in the Championship, Lucas Auer, was back in P16.
The race was a special one for Bruno Spengler, who was competing in his 150th DTM race – but it was only going to be from starting position 17.
The track had dried up again for the race, so the umbrellas could be exchanged for sun glasses by the spectators.
The first few corners ran without any major drama, until Maro Engel had a trip through the gravel in the fast right turn, Turn 6.
Tom Blomqvist and Mike Rockenfeller dived into the pits right at the end of the first lap, and hoped to gain an advantage by doing so.
Loic Duval received a 5 seconds pitstop penalty for making a jump start, sending him way out of the points.
Augusto Farfus was BMW number 4 in the line, and used all tricks to keep Rene Rast behind him – sometimes even the grass.
Meanwhile, Timo Glock, Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin could just leap out at the front without any real pressure.
Mattias Ekström was the next to dive into the pits, and came out in last position. He outbraked himself into turn one, and had to go through the gravel, and dragged several kilos of stones with him onto the track, and ended up spinning off in that himself, two corners later.
The Race Control decided to give Farfus a Black and white warning flag, since he was changing his line several times down the straights. That didn’t make too much of an impression on him, since he continued to weave a bit, defending against Rast.
Wittmann and Martin pitted on lap 8, and came back on the track as the leading pair, of those who had already made their pitstop. So the early pitstops by the others hadn’t worked out – at least not regarding threatening the lead.
One lap later Glock pitted, and with everything going according to plan, he was back out in front.
Lucas Auer had a small trip through the gravel, after he misjudged an overtaking manoeuvre on Nico Müller. It didn’t last long for Auer to get back on the asphalt, but he was touring as second-to-last driver out there.
After that, the race settled down, and only too long wait by Rene Rast to pit, resulting him in dropping back to P9, was the only thing to mix up the result.
Timo Glock could take an easy win ahead of Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin – BMW 1-2-3.
That combined with Ekström, Auer, Rockenfeller and Rast not having the best of days, meant that Glock jumped all the way up to fourth in the Championship standings, behind Rast, Ekström and Auer.
The second race of the weekend will be run tomorrow, Sunday.