Rast Wins at the Moscow Raceway to Claim DTM Championship Lead

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Credit: Audi Media Centre

Audi‘s Rene Rast claimed his second win in the DTM Series by claiming victory at the Moscow Raceway.

The driver, in his first full campaign in the series was joined on the podium by stablemate Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Wittmann.

Rast started the race from the third pole position of his career, after Wittmann was demoted to sixth following a five place grid penalty – from there the Audi Team Rosberg driver was able to control the race in a lights to flag victory.

Fellow Audi-man Rockenfeller started alongside him on the grid and looked at making a move on the inside of Rast but thought better of it and backed out of it.

This then placed the Audi under pressure from the BMW of Augusto Farfus behind with an attack on the second lap resulting in the Brazilian being forced off track. The contact resulted in a right hand puncture for Farfus which ultimately ruined his race, which came to an end four laps before the finish.

The incident was investigated but with no consequence for Rockenfeller.

Similarly, on the opening lap contact was made between Timo Glock and Mattias Ekström which resulted in the latter losing a number of places and sustaining substantial damage to his car. This meant it was a recovery from the off for Ekström who eventually came home in eighth place.

This incident too went without punishment. The only driver to have been penalised in the race was Nico Muller after it was deemed he had jumped the start.

It was another race where pitting early on seemed to have been the favoured strategy by many, however out front Rast and Rockenfeller just carried on building the gap they had created to be able to pit and retain their positions.

The pair eventually pitted on laps 14 and 15.

Despite Rockenfeller putting the pressure on Rast, he was unable to get a move done and so the pair were separated by just 0.7 seconds at the line.

Behind there was a fierce battle for third place as the BMW duo of Wittmann and Glock went toe to toe. Wittmann had been leading Glock but the Team RMR driver found his way through, only for the former to jump him in the pitstops.

The pair were trailing the Mercedes of Robert Wickens who had started down in twelfth place but bought himself up to fifth prior to his pitstop. He did not have an answer for Wittmann after the Bavarian put in a string of fastest laps and eventually got the move down into Turn 1 for the final podium spot.

Wickens managed to hold of Glock who dropped off the back of the pair.

Glock remained in fifth at the finish ahead of Mercedes duo Lucas Auer and Gary Paffett.

Ekström was eighth with Jamie Green and Maro Engel completing the top ten.

Other than Farfus, Tom Blomqvist was the only other retiree further cementing the dire season for the Anglo-Swede.

The drive of the day undoubtedly went to Rockenfeller, who despite his injured foot claimed second place regardless of fears by his team of whether he would have even been fit enough to take part in the round.

The end of the first race at the Moscow Raceway marks the exact halfway point of the season. Following his victory Rast is now the championship leader with 99 points, ahead of Auer and Ekström.

The third practice session gets underway at 9.40 local time, with the second qualifying session at 11.30 followed by the race at 14.50.

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An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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