The third round of the DTM 2018 was run at the Lausitzring, located between Berlin and Dresden.
Mercedes driver Lucas Auer had secured Pole Position ahead of the two BMW drivers Philipp Eng and Bruno Spengler, before Pascal Wehrlein got a Mercedes in front of the two BMW drivers Timo Glock and Marco Wittmann, making it 4 BMWs in the top-6.
Nico Müller was the best Audi Sport driver all the way back in P9, while Mike Rockenfeller was right behind him.
Second in the Championship standings, Gary Paffett was starting all the way back in P14.
It all went wrong for Nico Müller at the start. His car didn’t get off the line at all, and in all the confusion, there wasn’t time enough for Jamie Green to avoid his teammate. Luckily both drivers were OK, but it was a massive hit with debris spread all over the start-finish straight. That naturally sent out the Safety Car to clear up the mess.
Auer had initially gotten off to a bad start, with Eng being fully alongside him. Auer didn’t want to give up the spot to his countryman and squeezed him slightly into the wall. Auer did keep the lead while Spengler moved into second.
It took 15 minutes to get the track clear again.
But it only lasted half a lap before there was another serious accident.
Loic Duval was side by side with Rene Rast. Duval lost the rear of his car a little, which pushed Rast into the grass. When Rast slid sideways across the grass, it caught the bottom of the car, sending it into a violent roll, going both sideways and end over end. Thankfully it landed wheels down, and Rast was able to climb out of the car by himself, even though there was barely any bodywork left on the car. It instantly triggered the Red Flag, since Race Control wanted to send the medical team as quick as possible, and didn’t want to wait for the field to be behind a Safety Car. But as previously mentioned, Rast was perfectly fine.
So in one and a half laps of racing, 4 of 6 Audi Sport cars were damaged, and it’s surely going to be a big task for the mechanics to get all the cars ready for tomorrows race.
The race was restarted behind the Safety Car, with just one lap to warm up the tires, before the remaining 14 cars took up the racing again.
Auer got an OK start ahead of Spengler and Eng.
It was a bad day for Robin Frijns. He was handed a 5-second pitstop penalty for a Jump Start. Daniel Juncadella got a drive-through penalty for overtaking too soon after one of the Safety Car periods had ended.
The teams started doing their mandatory pitstops shortly after the race was restarted, which gave quite a mix up in the field.
Timo Glock had an amazing pitstop, and he managed to get out well ahead of Lucas Auer. But Auer already had head in his tires, so he quickly closed the gap.
Glock, Auer and Eng was note to tail down the straight, and while Glock and Auer were busy with each other, Eng was able to sneak past both.
Eng still had Edoardo Mortara to pass. Mortara was moving from one side to the other down the straight, and didn’t make it easy for Eng. But he did eventually make it past.
Mortara got DRS, so he was able to fight back again, while Glock also moved right up to the rear bumper of Eng.
Joel Eriksson pitted with 2 laps to go, and fell all the way back to P13. Frijns waited until the start of the final lap to do his pitstop.
Timo Glock did make it past Philipp Eng, but that was also more ideal championship wise, for the leader to get more points than Eng.
Mercedes driver Edoardo Mortara did manage to win the race ahead of BMW drivers Timo Glock and Philipp Eng.
Mike Rockenfeller was the best Audi driver in P11, which is out of the points.
It will be interesting to see how many cars will make it into the race tomorrow, when the 4th round of the year will start at 13.30 local time.