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Misano DTM: Muller scores first win since 2016

Audi's Nico Muller rose above a frenetic Misano finale to win his first race of the 2019 DTM season and his first in almost three years.

Misano DTM: Muller scores first win since 2016

Muller started fourth on the grid and made a strong start to join an all-Audi battle between polesitter Rene Rast, Robin Frijns and the WRT car of Jonathan Aberdein on the run to Turn 1.

When Frijns jinked to the left, Muller put two wheels on the grass, but came out of the Turn 1 right-hander behind the Dutchman as Rast tried to recover from his poor getaway. 

Rast's bad start was then compounded when the points leader tangled with Marco Wittmann and Aberdein, resulting in the BMW driver being punted off, at Turn 8. The incident put Wittmann into retirement, but the stewards took no action.

Rast then recovered and, by the 10th lap of 38, he was back into the lead having dispatched Muller at Turn 8 before moving clear of Frijns when the Audi driver began to slip back. 

But Rast's victory hopes took a huge dent when he picked up a puncture that forced him into the pits four laps late, allowing Muller past. 

Muller, who had cleared Frijns for second on lap 10, ran further than all but R-Motorsport Aston Martin driver Jake Dennis before making his stop, and the Audi driver returned to the track with a sizeable advantage - managing his car to the finish for victory.

Rast's puncture meant he was drawn into a battle with Philipp Eng for second place after the BMW driver made a rapid start to climb from ninth on the grid to sixth in the early laps.

Eng made the crucial pass on Rast by darting to the inside of the Audi at the Turn 10 hairpin following the pair's mandatory stops. 

Frijns could only finish fourth after Audi teammate Loic Duval pitched the early leader into a spin that dropped him down to sixth and earned Duval a drive-through penalty.

Pietro Fittipaldi, standing in for the unwell Jamie Green, recorded his best DTM finish by taking fifth, while Joel Eriksson was sixth for BMW after an intense duel with Aberdein's WRT Audi.

Bruno Spengler notably duelled Andrea Dovizioso on his way to eighth, but the Ducati MotoGP rider finished down in 15th after a late spin when he carried too much speed over the Turn 16 kerb.

BMW's Sheldon van der Linde and Audi's Mike Rockenfeller rounded out the top 10. 

Ferdinand Habsburg won the intra-team battle at R-Motorsport by finishing 12th ahead of Dennis, while Paul di Resta pulled off at the Turn 13 escape road to retire early on.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Car Laps Gap
1 51 Switzerland Nico Müller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 38
2 25 Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 38 7.628
3 33 Germany René Rast
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 38 16.804
4 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 38 20.072
5 21 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 38 20.430
6 47 Sweden Joel Eriksson
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 38 23.645
7 27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 38 24.813
8 7 Canada Bruno Spengler
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 38 28.460
9 31 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 38 29.003
10 99 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 38 47.798
11 28 France Loic Duval
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 38 47.902
12 62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 38 48.678
13 76 United Kingdom Jake Dennis
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 38 51.588
14 23 Spain Daniel Juncadella
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 38 1'14.053
15 34 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Audi RS5 DTM 38 1'16.392
16 Germany Timo Glock
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 8 30 Laps
3 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 6 32 Laps
11 Germany Marco Wittmann
BMW M4 Turbo DTM
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About this article

Series DTM
Event Misano
Author Tom Errington
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