The Nico Müller Show continues: the championship leader having had to make do with a pair of third places in the DTM round at Assen one week ago, the Swiss dominated the first race at the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit with his Audi RS 5 DTM. With a margin of over 15 seconds, Müller won from rival René Rast (GER, Audi). For Müller, it already is his seventh DTM career win. But as if that wasn’t enough, Müller even pulled off the proverbial motorsport hat trick at the 5.148 kilometers long Grand Prix track in the Eifel: pole position, victory and fastest race lap – it couldn’t have been any better. Behind defending champion Rast, BMW driver Marco Wittmann finished third. For the two-time DTM champion, it was the 35th podium finish of his career in the series.
The start didn’t lead to any position changes at the front of the field: pole sitter Müller had a good getaway and had no problems defending his lead from second-placed Rast. Dutchman Robin Frijns (Audi) defended his position from Wittmann, having started third. Mike Rockenfeller (GER, Audi), who had started from fifth on the grid, tried his luck with an early pit stop and already came in for his tire change at the end of lap eight. Temporarily running second, however, the former champion increasingly lacked grip in the closing stages of the race and finished fourth as a result.
Spectacular duel between Rast and Frijns
Robin Frijns, who secured his maiden DTM race win a week ago, staged the action of the day. For the best part of the race, the Dutchman was involved in a highly exciting duel for second place with René Rast. Particularly interesting: both drivers are directly behind each other in the DTM drivers’ standings, so it wasn’t just about the position in the race, but also for the runner-up spot in the championship. On lap 27, Frijns put all his eggs in one basket and tried to squeeze his way past Rast by virtue of an extremely late braking maneuver on the inside for the first corner. The attempt didn’t work out as Frijns’s Audi jumped hard over the curbstones under braking and the Dutchman couldn’t avoid a spectacular spin. Marco Wittmann, who was right behind him, had the last laugh and moved up into third while Frijns still managed to bring fifth place home.
Prior to the tenth race of the season (Sunday from 13.00 hrs live on SAT.1), Müller is leading the DTM drivers’ standings at 192 points from Frijns (149), who defended his second place in the standings from Rast (140).
DTM Nurburgring Race 1 Result
|8||Sheldon van der Linde||RBM||BMW||31.236s|