The 2019 season in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters was started on a very wet Hockenheimring.
Marco Wittmann had taken Pole Position ahead of Mike Rockenfeller and Paul Di Resta. Thus it was BMW, Audi and Aston Martin in the first three places. They were followed by a couple of Audi drivers with Rene Rast and Robin Frijns, before Jake Dennis qualified another Aston in top six.
Philipp Eng unfortunately didn’t qualify due to technical problems with the car. He would start from the back of the grid.
Jonathan Aberdein had to start the race from the pitlane, since the team also had problems with his car.
The rain was so heavy that the drivers got three warm-up laps instead of the usual one lap. That was why the race distance was reduced to 34 laps.
Rockenfeller had a bad start and fell back to fourth place, while Frijns drove himself up to P2. But Rocky fought past Di Resta on the first lap.
Timo Glock got a push in Turn 1 by Rene Rast, so he made a quick 360 before going again. The stewards judged it as a race incident.
Philipp Eng and Daniel Juncadella pitted already after the first lap.
Ferdinand Habsburg only managed to drive two laps in his DTM debut, before having to pit due to technical problems.
Eng had a tour through the gravel, but he came back on the track on the other side.
Rockenfeller overtook Frijns in the duel for second place.
Frijns kept going forward, when Rene Rast drove past him on lap five.
Glock was on the way up the field, where he was up to P6 after seven laps.
Aberdein overtook Nico Müller, but the rookie outrabraked himself on the hairpin, so the more experienced Swiss could get past him again.
Halfway into the race, Rene Rast also got past Mike Rockenfeller, and then could start the chase on the leading Marco Wittmann.
Loic Duval went off track through the gravel, but he kept his position.
Rast put Wittmann under intense pressure, but he couldn’t get past in the first attempt.
The rain stopped but the track was still really wet.
Paul Di Resta had to park the car in the pits, after complaining about the lack of tire grip, as well as a problem with the brake. Hence the car was pushed to the garage and his race ended.
On lap 21, Jamie Green lost a position to Jonathan Aberdein, and one lap later both Jake Dennis and Pietro Fittipaldi also drove past him.
Five laps before the finish, Rene Rast had to park the car on the track, when the car suddenly couldn’t pull anymore. A real shame for the 2017 champion, who had been the only competition to Wittmann.
Thus Marco Wittmann had a home run and won the race with 13,7 seconds to Mike Rockenfeller, and 34,6 seconds to Robin Frijns in third place.
The best Aston Martin driver was Daniel Juncadella in P9.
The second race of the 2019 DTM season will be run tomorrow.