For the second day in a row we had Jamie Green in Pole Position with Rene Rast in second. Marco Witmman was the best BMW in P3 ahead of Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Müller in two more Audis ahead of Gary Paffett as the best Mercedes man. Championship leader Mattias Ekström started P8. Local hero Lucas Auer was starting from dead last – but was only 0,727 of a second slower than Green on Pole Position.
When the light went out, things played out quite okay at the front of the field, but Mattias Ekström lost a spot in the tight midfield. Ekström was quick to dive into the pits after the first lap, alongside Augusto Farfus. That gave the two drivers space to put down some fast laps and not being caught in traffic.
Müller had a small gap up the first four cars, but Paffett wasn’t interested in racing behind the Audi, so he overtook him straight away, going out of Turn 3.
Ekström was quickly past Tom Blomqvist, who was another of the drivers to pit early. So that was already the first position gained for the Swede.
Müller fought his way back past Paffett, just at the same as Mike Rockenfeller was attacking Marco Wittmann for P3. The BMW driver used all the track width to defend and was under investigation for that. Rocky made it past one lap later, thanks to the use of DRS, and the stewards decided not to penalize Wittmann.
The strategy for Ekström started to pay off, since he was running right behind Wittmann after his pitstop. Ekström managed to pass Mercedes man Paffett after his pitstop, at the same time as Ekström was attacking Wittmann all the way around the track. The Swede didn’t make it past however, and fell a bit back to save his tires.
When Mike Rockenfeller came out from his pitstop, he was right ahead of Marco Wittmann. Rockenfeller tried to defend, but couldn’t do anything on cold tires. When Wittmann was past, he chose to let teammates Nico Müller and Mattias Ekström overtake him too, to give Eki as many points as possible for the Championship.
Halfway into the race saw Wittmann under hard pressure by Müller, and that battle lasted one and a half laps until Müller made it past thanks to DRS. Tom Blomqvist was under attack from Gary Paffett, and the two drove side by side for some corners, with Blomqvist initially defending the position. That only last until the next lap, when Paffett past him on one of the straight – again, thanks to DRS. The cars were so closely matched, so the only chance to get pasted, was the use of DRS.
After all drivers had done their mandatory pitstop, Jamie Green led the race in front of Rene Rast, Nico Müller, Marco Wittmann and Mattias Ekström.
With just 15 minutes back on the clock, the race was reborn. Lucas Auer was spun around by Bruno Spengler, sending Auer backwards into the armco. Race Control was quick to deploy the Safety Car, even when Auer was able to get going again. He crawled his way back to the pits, where he retired the car, with a lot of damage to the back. Spengler ended up getting a Drive-through penalty for the incident.
That bundled up the whole field again, and everybody was getting ready to attack each other, as soon as the SC would leave the track again. With the two-wide restart, action was guaranteed.
Marco Wittmann tried to overtake Nico Müller but instead ended up dropping all the way back to 7th. Ekström was lacking speed and lost a position to Gary Paffett.
With one and a half laps to go, the overtakings really started. Rene Rast overtook Jamie Green in the fight for first. Green fell further back the field, and the team explained it was a gearbox problem. Very bitter for the Brit, who ended the race in 14th.
When the chequered flag fell, Rene Rast was the first to cross the line, ahead of Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Müller. So Audi repeated yesterday’s 1-2-3 victory. Gary Paffett was 4th while Mattias Ekström finished 5th ahead of the best BMW man, Marco Wittmann.
Mattias Ekström leads the Championship with Rene Rast in second and Jamie Green third. Mike Rockenfeller is in a shared 4th with Marco Wittmann, while Lucas Auer is just three points behind, in sixth.
Audi leads the Constructors Championship quite big in front of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, while Audi Sport Team Rosberg leads the Teams Championship ahead of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline and Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me.
The finale will be run on 14-15 October at Hockenheim.