Misano DTM: Wittmann takes last-to-first victory
Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann rose from the back of the grid to take a surprise victory in the Misano opener.
Wittmann had completed just one lap in qualifying after what BMW described as a "failure in the engine area" and lined up 18th on the grid.
He opted to take the strategic gamble of stopping at the end of the first lap, which left him with 38 laps to manage his tyres on a high-wear, high-speed circuit.
Boosted by an early safety car period that lasted three laps when BMW's Joel Eriksson slowed and pulled off the track at Turn 7, Wittmann began to carve through the field progressively.
He moved inside the top 10 within the first 13 laps and cycled to the front when polesitter and race leader Rene Rast and the chasing pack made their mandatory pitstops.
R-Motorsport's Ferdinand Habsburg had mirrored Wittmann's strategy as the Aston Martin squad made its usual strategic gamble, meaning Rast had to clear Habsburg before hunting down the leader.
Lapping around four seconds quicker than Habsburg and two seconds faster than Wittmann initially, Rast cleared the Aston when Habsburg got a poor exit out of Turn 10.
With Rast in clear air, he took over 20s out of Wittmann's lead across the second stint but was only able to close to within 8.2s at the flag, meaning his BMW rival took his second win of the 2019 season.
Loic Duval rounded off the podium in third place having stormed past Habsburg when the Aston's tyres dropped off late on and having also dispatched BMW's Bruno Spengler.
Spengler took fourth after a storming start from sixth on the grid helped initially lifted him into third after WRT Audi's Jonathan Aberdein made a poor start from the front row.
Nico Muller and Mike Rockenfeller were matched on strategy, but the former came out on top against his Audi stablemate for fifth place.
Philipp Eng was seventh after a late duel with BMW teammate Sheldon van der Linde, while Aberdein recovered from a poor start and a delayed pitstop to finish eighth - although the South African remains under investigation over a potential pitlane infringement.
BMW pair van der Linde and Timo Glock rounded out the top 10.
MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso impressed by finishing 12th on his DTM debut, seven seconds behind fellow Audi driver Pietro Fittipaldi in 11th.
Dovizioso was able to stay ahead of the Aston Martins of Daniel Juncadella, Habsburg and Jake Dennis and the Ducati rider impressed in a flurry of wheel-to-wheel racing mid-race.
Paul di Resta retired from the race eight laps from home, with Robin Frijns finished 23 laps down after returning to the track after a lengthy delay spent in the pits.
|1||11|| Marco Wittmann ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||39|
|2||33|| René Rast ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||39||8.238|
|3||28|| Loic Duval ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||39||17.686|
|4||7|| Bruno Spengler ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||39||22.853|
|5||51|| Nico Müller ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||39||28.503|
|6||99|| Mike Rockenfeller ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||39||32.467|
|7||25|| Philipp Eng ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||39||44.922|
|8||27|| Jonathan Aberdein ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||39||47.238|
|9||31|| Sheldon Van Der Linde ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||39||48.347|
|10||16|| Timo Glock ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||39||48.429|
|11||21|| Pietro Fittipaldi ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||39||50.043|
|12||34|| Andrea Dovizioso ||Audi RS5 DTM||39||57.138|
|13||23|| Daniel Juncadella ||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||39||58.948|
|14||62|| Ferdinand Habsburg ||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||39||1'01.928|
|15||76|| Jake Dennis ||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||39||1'08.229|
|16||3|| Paul di Resta ||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||31||8 Laps|
|4|| Robin Frijns ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||16||23 Laps|
|47|| Joel Eriksson ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||2||37 Laps|
|View full results|
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