Wittmann wins rain-soaked opening race in Assen

by Harry Slade
Marco Wittmann

Marco Wittmann has taken victory for the opening race for the DTM Series in Assen in a race which was heavily effected by adverse weather conditions, passing Nico Mueller late in the race to take a thoroughly impressive win. Meanwhile, championship leader Rene Rast rounded out the podium.

The race initially got underway behind the safety car, but as the real racing got underway Rast attacked Wittman for the lead, but the pole-sitter managed to repel his rival. However, just as quickly as the safety car had disappeared it soon reappeared as Daniel Juncadella stopped on circuit in his Aston Martin causing, the return of the safety car.

Two BMW cohorts were then clashing, as Bruno Spengler launched Sheldon Van Der Linde into a spin; leaving the Norisring winner languishing down the order. Mueller then began his charge, motoring up to third, only behind the duo of Rast and Wittmann as he looked a contender for the win in Assen.

Rast continued to harry Wittmann following the pitstops, but time and time again the BMW driver managed to halt his charge. In all of the battling, Mueller extended his own stint to overcut his adversaries, and come out in the lead. But Wittmann wouldn’t be beaten as he hunted down Mueller who was on cold tyres, passing him to take a triumphant win.

Robin Frijns‘ home-race come to a dramatic end as the Dutchman smashed into the wall in the treacherous conditions.

Behind the leading trio Philipp Eng was fourth, with fellow BMW driver Timo Glock in fifth. The top six was rounded out by Jonathan Aberdein, just ahead of fellow Audi incumbment Jamie Green.

Practice-pacesetter Loic Duval was eighth, with Mike Rockenfeller ninth. Van Der Linde completed the top ten in a dogged drive despite his collision with Spengler. Meanwhile, Jake Dennis was the lead Aston Martin in twelfth.

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