New DTM record on a sunny day

A new DTM record was set, under a sunny Saturday at Höckenheim.

Lucas Auer  had taken Pole Position ahead of championship contender Gary Paffett. Rene Rast was the other championship contender, and was the same time the best Audi driver in P3, followed by the first BMW driver, Augusto Farfus. Paul di Resta was the last championship candidate and had to start the race from P6.

Marco Wittmann must start from the last position, after having an accident in the training, which prompted him to miss the qualifying.

Auer and Paffett went away nicely at the start, while Rast fell back to fourth behind Farfus. Paffett took the lead, already before the first lap was done.

Di Resta and Robin Frijns drove side by side on the way to the Mercedes Tribune, but the Mercedes man came out first.

Rast managed to come back to third position on lap 4, and then could start chasing the two ahead of him. One lap later Rast also overtook Auer, and then only Paffett was left for him to hunt.

Daniel Juncadella was the first man to pit, on lap 5.

On the sixth lap, there was a contact between Frijns and di Resta in the hairpin, which sent di Resta wide. The stewards looked at the incident and ordered them to swap place again.

Lucas Auer
Photo: JJ Media

Auer pitted at the end of lap 6, and parked the car in the garage due to a technical problem. Afterwards, he explained that the speeder was stuck.

Edoardo Mortara came a bit too fast around the Sachs-Kurve, and went off through the gravel before he could get back on the asphalt.

Bruno Spengler and Nico Müller had a contact in the hairpin for the ninth place.

Di Resta fought himself up to fourth place on lap 11, but he should still catch up with the two championship competitors ahead.

Müller and Joel Eriksson were the next two to change tires, after 12 laps.

Rast pitted one lap later. He pushed to the limit on the way to the pits, and came with smoking tires towards the line. Loic Duval pitted after him.

It forced Mercedes to call Paffett to the pits one lap later, to make sure he wouldn’t get passed. He came out of the pits a couple of seconds ahead of Rast, but on stone cold tires.

In the next lap, Rast went past him in Parabolica, down to the hairpin, with a help of DRS. Rast outbraked himself, and then Paffett overtook him again. The battle continued all the way to the Mercedes Tribune, where Rast drove past him from the outside – again with a help of a little DRS.

Di Resta, Glock and Spengler were the next ones to pit, in the battle for the last podium spots.

Di Resta went past Glock, but Glock overtook him again in the next corner. Di Resta finally did an overtaking manoeuvre in the Sachs-Kurve and then pulled away.

While di Resta, Glock and Müller were fighting, Duval sneaked in behind them, making it a four-man train.

Bruno Spengler had a tour on the gravel in Sachs-Kurve, when he was about to do a “Vettel”, but he kept the car off the tire barrier and could get it back to the track.

Duval went past di Resta on the track, and thus sending the Mercedes driver further and further away from the other championship contenders.

Müller, Wittmann and Mike Rockenfeller pitted on lap 21, and they drove almost right after each other out of the pitlane.

The battle between Rast and Paffett continued on the track, where Paffett was close to kissing the Audi’s rear suspension a few times.

Rene Rast
Photo: JJ Media

On lap 23, Paffet pushed himself past Rast and claimed the lead.

One lap later, it was Rast’s turn to use DRS, which helped to get past again, after a little touch between the two cars.

With fifteen minutes left on the clock, both drivers had five laps with DRS left, that could be used if you were under a second behind a competitor.

Shortly afterwards, the Safety Car was deployed when Augusto Farfus lost the door of his BMW on the way to the hairpin. The debris needed to be removed from the track, since the carbon fibre pieces were dangerous for the tires. The mechanics attempted to set a new door on the car, but they had to give up because the locking mechanism was damaged.

Spengler used the chance to set fresh tires on his car, so that he could give it full throttle in the last ten minutes after green flag.

With Indy-restart, the cars came side by side to the finish line, where Rast shot past, and got a big gap to Paffett. Di Resta did too much in Turn 1 and lost a couple of positions.

Robin Frijns
Photo: JJ Media

Wittmann went a little wide in Turn 3, and the car caught a lot of dust and grass, and unfortunately he had to park the car due to an uncontrollable temperature rise.

Glock and Paffett were in a close duel for the second place, and with the DRS active again for the last five minutes. Glock came past in the first attempt, but there was a long way to Rast in P1.

On lap 32, Frijns overtook Paffett, and thus overtaken the last spot on the podium – but there were still a few minutes left.

On the next lap, Frijns went up to second place, with his DRS wing open.

Rene Rast won his fifth consecutive DTM race, which extends the record of the most back-to-back victories.

Robin Frijns finished second, ahead of Timo Glock.

Gary Paffett was fourth, and he was furious over the radio after the race, where he shouted that the race director should’ve sent the Safety Car out after Wittmann’s off track incident.

But it was worst for Paul di Resta, who finished all the way down in P8, and thus lost the lead in the championship to Paffett, while Rast was catching up on both of them.

Everything will be decided tomorrow, in the final DTM race of the year.

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