Rast Claims Audi’s First DTM Victory of 2018 at Zandvoort

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René Rast: 2018 DTM Series - Zandvoort
Credit: DTM Media

Reigning DTM Series champion René Rast ended Audi‘s winless drought in Race 2 at Zandvoort.

It is also the German’s first win since Race 2 at the Red Bull Ring last year.

Rast was joined on the podium by polesitter Gary Paffett and Paul di Resta.

At the start, Paffett held on to his lead heading into Turn 1 as Philipp Eng who started from second was not able to keep with the Briton.

Pascal Wehrlein passed di Resta who had started fourth.

Having been running in third, Rast decided to dive straight into the pits at the end of the opening lap – he was joined by brand-mate Nico Müller.

Joel Eriksson was under investigation for forcing another driver off the track and was handed a warning as a result.

Out front, Paffett made a break for it and dropped Eng with the Austrian withstanding pressure from Wehrlein.

Next to serve his mandatory pitstop was Dani Juncadella.

Di Resta was all over the rear of Wehrlein as Paffett extended his lead at the front.

Mike Rockenfeller, Jamie Green and Timo Glock all come in to pit, with di Resta and Bruno Spengler doing so the following lap.

Coming out amongst those that had already stopped Spengler, on colder tyres, was being passed at the back.

In the lead Paffett was almost six seconds ahead of Eng and only extending his advantage.

Wittmann came into the pits and emerged on track behind Müller but ahead of Spengler who had Green on his rear.

A slow stop for Augusto Farfus put him back on track just ahead of Wittmann to form a trio of BMWs.

Eng pits from second place, with Lucas Auer also pitting at the same time.

Having already pitted and his tyres were fully up to temperature, Rast was comfortable ahead of Eng.

Struggling on his cold tyres Eng was swamped and ended up behind the Mercedes of Juncadella.

Paffett pitted from the lead but a slow stop cost him the position to Rast, meaning the Audi driver was the lead car to have stopped.

Having suffered with an electronic issue in Free Practice 3 and qualifying Robin Frijns was once again going slowly and retired from the race. A disappointing result for the Dutchman in his home race.

Wehrlein was now in the lead of the race but the Mercedes driver was yet to pit – as were Edoardo MortaraLoïc Duval and Joel Eriksson.

Further back, Spengler continued his defence of Green’s attack with the Briton locking up as he attacked the Canadian.

Eng found a way through on Juncadella with Rockenfeller following the BMW through.

The Mercedes driver was struggling as Müller, Farfus and Wittmann also get passed him.

Mortara pits and comes out ahead of Wittmann but is immediately passed by the BMW.

The following lap Wehrlein and Eriksson pit from first and second on track.

Wehrlein comes out behind Rockenfeller but is passed by Müller and Farfus as to warms his cold rubber.

As they go three wide Farfus gains an extra place after overtaking Müller in the process.

Things got worse for Wehrlein as he received a  black and white flag  for forcing another driver (Müller) off track.

Loïc Duval takes to the pitlane from the lead meaning everyone had taken their mandatory stop.

The Green-Spengler battled ended with Spengler in the gravel after being hit in the rear by the Audi driver.

Spengler was able to remove himself from the gravel but a safety car was deployed.

Glock and Juncadella take this as an opportunity to pit again. Juncadella doing so just before the safety car came in.

The incident which prompted the safety car was investigated and Green was handed a drive through penalty as a result which he served immediately.

Wittmann was shoved to the back at the restart after running almost five abreast with damage for the BMW and a front left puncture.

With much fresher Wehrlein passes Rockenfeller as racing resumed.

Out front, Rast and Paffett still had all their DRS available to them with the Briton looking for a way to retake the lead.

Rockenfeller was force into the pits again, also with a puncture.

Müller was handed the black and white flag for forcing Mortara off the track as the Italian attempted to overtake him.

Rast was able to hold on to take his first win as a DTM champion.

Mercedes duo Paffett and di Resta completed the podium places.

Eng and Farfus were fifth and sixth for BMW as Wehrlein, Müller, Mortara, Auer and Glock completed the top ten.

The DTM now takes a summer break with the action resuming 11-12 August at Brands Hatch for the DTM’s return to the UK.

2018 DTM Series Results: Zandvoort – Race 2

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