Rast Wins as Drama Hits Green Late on in Spielberg

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Credit: DTM Media

Rene Rast claimed DTM Series victory at the Red Bull Ring as long-time race leader Jamie Green ran into problems late on.

Green had led throughout the race, maintaining a steady gap between himself and Rast but disaster struck for the Briton with three laps remaining when his Audi got stuck in gear.

Therefore Rast, Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Muller – who moved over on the final lap to allow Rockenfeller through – claimed the second Audi 1-2-3 of the weekend.

At the start, Green got away easily from pole position with Rast slotting in behind him. The pole man was investigated for incorrect grid positioning but no action was taken.

Rockenfeller got a good start from fourth place and challenged Marco Wittmann for third place.

Wittmann too was under investigation for more than one direction change whilst defending from Rockenfeller – again no further action was taken. On lap nine Rockenfeller finally got the move done on the BMW driver.

Championship leader Mattias Ekström had a difficult qualifying, which meant he started down in eighth place as a result the Swede attempted a risky strategy by pitting at the end of the first lap.

As pitstops played out Wittmann came out just ahead of Ekström, despite his tyres already being up to temperature the Audi-man was not able to keep on the tail of Wittmann.

Wittmann soon found himself in an Audi sandwich with three in front of him and three behind after being passed by Muller. The Swiss driver, despite displaying a much faster pace he slowed his pace in an attempt to back Wittmann into the clutches of Ekström.

However, since his stop Ekström had lost all pace he originally had and was not able to close in on Wittmann and let Rockenfeller through to attempt to get passed the Bavarian.

The racing was halted after Bruno Spengler tagged Lucas Auer whilst trying to out-brake Paul di Resta into the uphill Turn 3, spinning the title-contender around who went backwards into the barriers and brought out the safety car.

As a result Spengler was handed a drive through penalty whilst Auer took to the pits to retire his car.

When racing got back underway it was a difficult restart for Wittmann who got boxed by the many Audi’s surrounding him and dropped to seventh place behind Rockenfeller, Gary Paffett and Ekström.

Meanwhile, Edoardo Mortara was forced into the pits to retire.

Elsewhere, Maro Engel was handed a drive through penalty for swerving out of the side-by-side restart too early. Ekström received a warning for obstructing Wittmann and had to hand his position back but quickly found his way back past the BMW.

If Audi had been planning to get their drivers to move aside for Ekström, Paffett in fifth put a spanner in the works in the closing minutes of the race.

Just as it was looking as though Audi were set to seal up a 1-2-3-4 finish, black smoke was coming out of Green’s car as it became stuck in gear as he rapidly tumbled down the order and out of the race.

Therefore, it was Rast who claimed victory ahead of Rockenfeller and Muller.

Behind, Paffett was fourth ahead of Ekström. Wittmann led his BMW team-mate Timo Glock as Loic Duval, di Resta and Robert Wickens completed the top ten.

Maxime MartinAugusto Farfus and Tom Blomqvist completed the finishers.

Had Green claimed victory today he would be just eight points behind Ekström in the championship but instead sits 45 points behind the Swedish driver heading into the finale of the 2017 season.

The finale takes place at the Hockenheimring on 10-15 October.

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