Rene Rast had taken Pole Position for second day in a row, in the 16th DTM round at the Nürburgring.
The Audi Sport driver beat Mercedes-AMG man Gary Paffett and Philipp Eng from BMW. A number of BMW and Mercedes drivers came after them, while Mike Rockenfeller, like yesterday’s race, was the second best Audi driver.
The sun was shining when the 18 cars cruised down to Turn 1.
Even though Rene Rast was first in Turn 1, Lucas Auer did a fantastic start from P5 and was already P2 after a few metres, while Timo Glock was on third place. Paffett and Eng fell back to P4 and P9 respectively.
Jamie Green had a damage on the car and pitted already on the first lap.
Glock got a warning from the stewards, when he pushed Paffett to the grass.
At the beginning of the third lap, Glock did a hopeless dive on Auer and bumped Auer off the track. The two fell back to the last two positions – only Green was worse, because of his technical problems on the first lap. Based on the earlier warning, it wasn’t surprising that Glock got awarded a drive-through penalty, which was probably a bit milder than it should be, considering the severity of his manoeuvre.
The current top 3 was Rast, Paffett, and Rockenfeller, who had got great opening laps.
Paffett was right behind Rast’s rear wing for several laps, and although he had been using the DRS, he still couldn’t make it past.
Rocky did a small mistake at the start of lap 7, where he outbraked himself and thus lost two places to Bruno Spengler and Paul di Resta, and even Marco Wittmann also made it past in the next lap. Philipp Eng also overtook the German, while a long train of cars stood in queue behind him.
Glock pitted on lap 11 to change tires, while Loic Duval did in the next lap. Pascal Wehrlein followed after two laps.
Duval and Green had a battle for 16th and 17th, and the two Audi Sport drivers didn’t give each other more than a few centimetres gap. But if there weren’t others to race against, they could always drive against each other.
Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Müller pitted after 15 laps, and went out right in front of Wehrlein, who was trying to get past Müller with everything he had. Wehrlein was on the run-off area a few times and had to give the place back to Müller two times. But he finally made it past in the next lap.
Rast went to the pits with half an hour left, followed by Philipp Eng.
Mike Rockenfeller spun around after a contact with Augusto Farfus, who had just came out from the pits. The stewards didn’t think there was more to the case.
Paffett, Wittmann, and Eriksson pitted at the same time, and it was expensive for Paffett, when the mechanics had problems with the right rear wheel, and it cost him five seconds, as well as waiting for the traffic on the pitlane.
Di Resta pitted with 26 minutes left. Bruno Spengler came in the lap after and came out in second place, but he had to defend the position from di Resta, who just stormed past in the Mercedes Arena.
Edoardo Mortara, Robin Frijns, and Daniel Juncadella were the last drivers to pit. They didn’t, however, have a big gap to Rene Rast, who was catching them up.
Paffett overtook Eriksson from the outside, on the way to Turn 1. But it was for seventh place and not a place on the podium, which normally was the case for the Englishman this season.
Di Resta and Wittmann had a close duel for second place, where they drove with a few tenth of a second between each other. Paffett tried to regain the time he lost in the pits, but he was P5 and there were only seven minutes left on the clock.
The battle for the last couple of points was wild, where Wehrlein, Müller, Duval, Rockenfeller, Mortara, Frijns, and Juncadella lay between a few seconds from each other.
On the last lap, Müller tried to get past Mortara. It almost succeeded, but Mortara hit the Swiss on the rear wheel and sent him out spinning.
Rene Rast won for the second day in a row, with Paul di Resta and Marco Wittmann on the next two places. So all three brands were on the podium, for the second day in a row as well.
Rast also set a new record. No other driver had taken Pole Position and won on both days, with the current DTM format. It was 56 points that sent him up to third in the championship. Gary Paffett is still leading, but his P5 result cost him valuable points from Paul di Resta, who is now only two points behind. Rast is 57 points after Paffett. So if Rast had a couple more of this super weekend, he could still have a chance to win the championship. But a lot can still happen in DTM.
The next time DTM is back on the track is on Austrian Red Bull Ring in two weeks’ time. Mercedes has celebrated many victories on this track, but the 2018 season has swing back and forth between all three brands, so anything can happen.