Martin takes historic DTM win during dramatic race

by Alex Goldschmidt

An eventful afternoon at Moscow Raceway saw BMW’s Maxime Martin lead the time-restricted race from lights out to chequered flag in just his fifth outing in the DTM. The Team RMG driver survived two Safety Car periods to make it two new winners this year and became the first Belgian to take victory in the series’ history

Martin finished 4.5 seconds ahead of Bruno Spengler and Mattias Ekström, as it was a very dark day for defending champion Mike Rockenfeller. The Audi Sport driver ended up hitting Adrien Tambay on the first restart on Lap 27, with both cars retiring as a result.

The Team Phoenix driver was clearly upset after out braking himself into turn 4, suffering his first DNF of the season, and now takes a three-place grid drop for the next race.

Other retirements included Jamie Green through contact with Mortara, Paul di Resta with a gearbox problem and Timo Scheider, whose Audi RS5 DTM brought out the first Safety Car period due to the engine stopping on the start/finish straight.

There were some hard battles up and down the field, with positions swapping rapidly during the final stages of the race. Ekström made another great run through the field from 11th and was battling hard, as Timo Glock and Nico Müller found themselves begin passed by current points leader Marco Wittmann, who finished behind the Swedish two-time champion. Glock and Müller would round out the top six.

Mercedes had something to celebrate, as Oschersleben race winner Christian Vietoris and Pascal Wehrlein took 7th and 8th, ahead of Edoardo Mortara and Augusto Farfus, as the Brazilian completed the top ten.

António Félix da Costa and Miguel Molina narrowly missed out on the points, having been involved in their fair share of the action during the afternoon, ahead of a resurgent Martin Tomczyk, who got back up to 13th, having started on the last row of the grid.

Robert Wickens finished in 14th, in what was a turnaround from his win two weeks ago, with Daniel Juncadella finishing behind the Canadian. Gary Paffett‘s bad luck continues, as the Brit came across the line in 16th, ahead of BMW’s Joey Hand and home hero Vitaly Petrov, who were the last to be classified as having completed the race distance.

Wittmann now leads by 20 points from new second-place man Ekström, as the DTM will head to the Red Bull Ring in three weeks’ time, as the race is still on for the title.

Spengler and Mortara are just nine points behind the Swede, with Rockenfeller now needing to get his reign of consistency back, but could Wittmann be too far ahead? The story continues in Styria…

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