This afternoon saw Mattias Ekström charge through the field and take the first win for Audi Sport in 13 months at Circuit Park Zandvoort, as well as being the only DTM driver to win four times on the Dutch seaside track. The Team Abt Sportsline driver took charge of a frenetic race that saw multiple Safety Car periods and won by 7.4 seconds with an overtaking masterclass from 2014 Champion Marco Wittmann, with Team Schnitzer‘s Martin Tomczyk completing the podium.
Edoardo Mortara put his exclusion from qualifying behind him, he came from the back of the grid to take fourth, ahead of Christian Vietoris, who stormed through from 17th on the grid. Vietoris, who was driving the updated C-Class AMG Coupé, was involved in contact with Nico Müller on lap 26, but the former Gp2 driver was given no penalty as a result.
Müller was one of several drivers that retired due to either going off track or collisions, as the Swiss driver retired on lap 26 after hitting the wall. Adrien Tambay was the first driver to bring out a Safety Car on Lap 5, as the Frenchman hit the wall after going wide on Lap 5.
Paul Di Resta, who was looking fast, found his race to come to a premature end, as he was collected by a late-braking António Félix da Costa into Tarzan on Lap 16.
Augusto Farfus had one of the biggest accidents on Lap 18, as he was hit from behind by Daniel Juncadella. The Brazilian hit the wall with the front of his M4 DTM, which meant the Safety Car came out again. Miguel Molina was able to save his RS5 DTM from the gravel once, but as the race ended, his car was well and truly beached this time around.
Gary Paffett went wide and off track into the gravel at the same place as Tambay on Lap 34, which saw the field being slowed once again by the M4 DTM Safety Car.
Maxime Martin took sixth place, which gave BMW Team RMG the DTM Teams’ Title, as the Belgian has succeeded teammate Wittmann as “Rookie of the Year,” as Lausitzring winner Pascal Wehrlein took seventh.
Daniel Juncadella and Robert Wickens finished the race in 8th and 9th respectively after a titanic battle in the midfield for the remaining points on offer. Bruno Spengler was handed a thirty-second penalty for contact that span out Jamie Green as the time ticked away.
Timo Scheider took the final points scoring place on offer, as Joey Hand took 11th, having had a scare of his own during the race. Vitaly Petrov took a well-fought twelfth, as Timo Glock was able to finish behind the Russian after a difficult race from the minute the formation lap took place.
Da Costa took fourteenth, as Green could only recover to finish behind the young Portuguese driver. Mike Rockenfeller, who started from pole position, suffered badly as his car was on the option tyres for too long, and he had to settle for 16th. Spengler rounded out the field in 17th after being given his penalty, after a very close race all round.
There is just one more title to fight for when the DTM heads back to Hockenheim in three weeks’ time, as BMW now leads Audi by just 21 points in the hunt for the manufacturers’ crown. Which outfit will be standing tall after the dust has settled? We’ll have to wait and see…