Nurburgring DTM: Rast wins, nightmare for Muller

Rene Rast won his sixth race of the 2019 DTM season at the Nurburgring while Audi teammate Nico Muller conceded significant ground in the title fight after a nightmare showing.

Nurburgring DTM: Rast wins, nightmare for Muller

Muller had looked set to challenge polesitter Rast off the line, having squeezed past BMW's Bruno Spengler for second, until it became apparent the Swiss driver had jumped the start.

He took his subsequent drive-through penalty at the end of the third lap of 41, and Muller swiftly returned to the pits for his mandatory pitstop three laps later, taking the gamble of a safety car to shake up the order.

But a safety car never materialised and Muller struggled to make up ground until the pitstop window, making his way up to the fringes of the top 10 before his aged tyres began to drop off.

He was embroiled in a late battle with R-Motorsport Aston Martin driver Paul di Resta, forcing the 2010 DTM champion onto the grass at the exit of the Turn 5 hairpin as di Resta smashed through an advertising board and continued.

Muller was shown a black-and-white flag for the offence and then slipped to 16th at the flag - the last of the classified runners - as Rast cruised to victory unchallenged to extend his championship advantage over Muller to a comfortable 47 points.

Rast ran with fellow Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller in close support for the majority of the race and Rast was able to build a gap of over 15s before Rockenfeller slowed on track and pulled into the pits to retire with an oil leak.

Rockenfeller's late retirement boosted two BMWs onto the podium, with Spengler running a lonely race to second, while Marco Wittmann kept his increasingly slim title hopes alive by finishing third after charging from 11th on the grid.

After climbing to seventh on the first lap, Wittmann's RMG BMW team called the strategy perfectly for him to rejoin the track in a train of cars battling for fourth.

While he came out ahead of Spengler, Wittmann ran wide midway through the Mercedes Arena bend on his out-lap to allow Spengler into a net second.

Wittmann then spent several laps behind the Audi of Jamie Green before finally managing to narrowly scrape ahead on the exit of the Turn 1 right-hander to claim third.

Green eventually finished sixth behind WRT Audi driver Jonathan Aberdein, who took his joint-best DTM result with fourth, and Audi driver Loic Duval.

Duval was shown a black-and-white flag for forcing Sheldon van der Linde's BMW wide on his way to fifth, with the South African finishing seventh.

BMW stablemates Joel Eriksson and Timo Glock were eighth and ninth, while Robin Frijns completed the scorers in 10th for Audi. Daniel Juncadella was the highest-placed Aston Martin driver in 11th.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Car Laps Gap
1 33 Germany René Rast
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 41
2 7 Canada Bruno Spengler
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 41 10.787
3 11 Germany Marco Wittmann
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 41 17.299
4 27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 41 24.537
5 28 France Loic Duval
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 41 27.158
6 53 United Kingdom Jamie Green
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 41 27.338
7 31 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 41 27.650
8 47 Sweden Joel Eriksson
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 41 27.880
9 16 Germany Timo Glock
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 41 30.924
10 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 41 31.025
11 23 Spain Daniel Juncadella
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 41 32.590
12 62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 41 38.344
13 3 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 41 42.114
14 25 Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 41 45.746
15 21 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 41 1'04.566
16 51 Switzerland Nico Müller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 41 1'09.161
99 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 25 16 Laps
76 United Kingdom Jake Dennis
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 25 16 Laps
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About this article

Series DTM
Event Nurburgring
Sub-event Race 1
Author Tom Errington
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