Dani Juncadella converted pole position into his maiden DTM Series race win at Brands Hatch.
However, it was not quite so simple for the Spaniard who lost places at the start after a slow getaway.
Joining the Mercedes driver on the podium was BMW‘s Augusto Farfus and Lucas Auer.
A slow start from Dani Juncadella cost him places to Lucas Auer and René Rast.
Farfus snatched fourth from Philipp Eng round the outside of Westfield.
Copying his strategy of Zandvoort, Rast came in for his stop at the end of lap one.
Straight out of the pits, Loïc Duval brought out the yellow flag after crashing into the barrier at Druids.
Marco Wittmann pitted at the end of lap two, coming out just behind Rast, to run second of those who had pitted.
With the benefit of the slow zone, and Rast having pitted, Juncadella was on the tail of Auer ahead of him.
BMW duo Farfus and Philipp Eng pitted once green flag action had resumed – bringing them out ahead of Rast.
Rast found his way through on Eng, but Gary Paffett rejoined the track ahead of him to halt him chasing down Farfus.
Eng too took a position from Paffett.
Mike Rockenfeller also pitted and jumped Wittmann but the BMW took advantage of the Audi being on cold tyres to take the place back.
Pole sitter Juncadella served his stop and came out still ahead of Farfus, as he tried to make up for his poor start.
On track leader Auer. came in for his stop at the end of lap nine and was able to hold onto his theoretical lead but Juncadella quickly sailed past his team-mate.
Farfus followed the Spaniard through.
Out front, Edoardo Mortara leads from Pascal Wehrlein but the pain and still yet to serve their mandatory pitstop.
Mortara comes in from the lead, which puts the Italian out on track behind Paffett in eighth, just ahead of Wittmann.
Despite having cold tyres, Mortara managed to fend off the attack from Wittmann to hold onto the position with Wittmann now coming under pressure from Jamie Green.
Wehrlein finally came in for his stop, but an issue on the front right hindered the German who rejoined behind Paffett in sixth, ahead of Mortara.
Green ran wide, which allowed Timo Glock the opportunity to pass the Briton.
Things did not get any better for Green who then lost another place to Robin Frijns.
Frijns gained time on Glock after the German ahead, ran wide off the track.
The Dutchman went on the attack but this brought Green back into the equation with Frijns having to go defensive, allowing Glock some breathing space.
Frijns made a late move into Paddock Hill Bend with the duo running side-by-side for the Audi-man to take tenth place.
Out of sorts, Glock came under attack from Green. The pair ran side-by-side with Green getting the move done as Rockenfeller took the opportunity to pass them both at Pilgrim’s Drop.
In the closing stages, the positions stabilised with Green being the first driver to use up their DRS allowance.
Juncadella, was stamping his authority out front by stretching his advantage to over six seconds over Farfus.
On a late charge, Paffett clawed in Eng and went on the attack for fifth.
As the duo battled, Wehrlein began to close in on them but it was too late to pose a genuine threat.
Further back, Frijns was passed by Rockenfeller and Green to demote him to twelfth place.
Juncadella crossed the line to take his first ever victory in the DTM.
Almost eight seconds behind Farfus came home in second.
Completing the podium was Auer.
Reigning champion Rast was fourth as Eng completed the top five.
Paffett, was resigned to sixth place with Mercedes team-mate Wehrlein in seventh.
Eighth place was Mortara with Wittmann in ninth for BMW.
After his late charge, Rockenfeller completed the top ten.
Despite not scoring any points, Paul di Resta maintains his second place in the championship although an incident between him and Duval is to be investigated.
2018 DTM Series Results: Brands Hatch – Race 1
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