DTM 2018 had reached the Netherlands at the Zandvoort circuit, 30 kilometers west of Amsterdam
Gary Paffett had taken Pole Position ahead of teammates Pascal Wehrlein, Paul di Resta and Lucas Auer. Timo Glock and Marco Wittmann had driven their two BMWs ahead of three Audi drivers Robin Frijns, Nico Müller and Rene Rast.
The start went quite well, with a bit of bumping around Mike Rockenfeller and Bruno Spengler in the midfield.
Local hero Frijns was on the forward, having overtaken both Timo Glock and Marco Wittmann during the first lap.
Loic Duval, Jamie Green and Edoardo Mortara pitted right away on Lap 1, while Daniel Juncadella pitted one lap later. Duval made a small mistake going out of the pits, ending up running through the gravel, on cold tire, and fell all the way back of the field.
Marco Wittmann tried out pitting on Lap 3, while Glock and Spengler were the two next. They managed to get out ahead of Wittmann, who had lost a position to Spengler. Both Glock and Spengler had completely cold tires, and while Glock managed to defend against Wittmann, Spengler drobbed behind both Wittmann and Green.
Frijns and Farfus pitted on Lap 5, with the same thing repeating itself – Frijns staying ahead while Farfus lost a few positions.
Di Resta, Engel and Müller were the next drivers to pit without any major drama, while the mechanics on Wehrlein’s car had troubles getting one of the wheels off. Thereby he lost a position to di Resta.
Paffett didn’t dare to stay out longer, so he pitted on the ninth lap, guarding himself from the rest of the field – and of course rejoined in first.
Nico Müller had rejoined in the real 4th position in the race, with Frijns right behind. Lucas Auer made it out right ahead of Müller, but was overtaken on cold tires. Frijns wasn’t as lucky and was caught behind the Austrian. Frijns tried to made a manouvre around the outside of the Tarzan corner, but he didn’t manage to pull it off.
The two drivers got a position for free, when Müller crashed into the tire barrier due to a slow puncture on his front left. That called the Safety Car onto the track, to get the car removed.
Rene Rast hadn’t pitted, and due to some weird reason, he didn’t pit, even though he was the only man not to have done so. That destroyed his race totally, since he fell all the way to the back of the field, when he eventually did his stop. It was a huge mistake by Audi Sport and Rast, not to pit, since that would have secured a top 5 for them.
It took incredibly long time to get the car removed, since the two truck had to drive half of the lap before the recovery could start. It cost plenty of race time, so the remaining drivers only had 12 minutes to race.
Auer was quick on the restart, and went past Wehrlein in the fight for third.
There were no further movements in the race, so Gary Paffett won the race in front of Paul di Resta, Pascal Wehrlein, Robin Frijns, Timo Glock and Marco Wittmann.
So that was a Mercedes 1-2-3-4, ahead of Frijns as the lone Audi driver before a group of BMW’s.
A new qualifying and a new DTM race will be run again tomorrow on the same track. Will it be another Mercedes party or will others be in with a fight?