In an excitement-filled race, René Rast from Audi Sport Team Rosberg and championship leader Nico Müller from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline crossed the finish line side-by-side in their Audi RS 5 DTM cars with just 0.089 seconds separating them. The last time the DTM saw such a close finish was 24 years ago.
Robin Frijns once again started on pole position and had a much better start than in yesterday’s race, unlike teammate Müller who fell back down the field.
“There was more grip than I expected,” said the Swiss driver, Müller. “When René and Robin did some rallycrossing in front of me, I briefly had a clear view. But I came onto the outside line in Turn 3. As a result, also Marco Wittmann passed me, and I dropped back to fourth. After that, it was hard work – but we managed the race pretty well.”
Rast also experienced some difficulties at the start, being pushed out onto the grass and dropping a few positions. Rast did, however, push hard and returned to first place by the end of lap one. BMW Team RMG driver Marco Wittmann had a very impressive start launching himself from seventh to third within the first lap.
Frijns and Rast constantly battled throughout the whole race making for a great show with Frijns leading for the most part. However, after one illegal pass, Frijns was ordered to back off and relinquish his lead to Rast.
After an early pit stop, Frijns was first passed by Rast, later by Müller and two laps before the end of the race also by Wittmann, who fought hard throughout the race to hold off Müller but was passed in the last lap.
“I had an extremely good start and a super first lap, after which I was already up to third place.” said Wittmann “I then battled with Robin Frijns and René Rast for the lead. I finally got past Robin on the penultimate lap. Nonetheless, you have to say that the gap to the Audis is still very big in qualifying and in the race. Third place is a decent enough result. However, our goal is to challenge for titles, and we are a long way off doing that at the moment. We must work hard to close that gap.”
Yesterday’s second-place finisher Sheldon van der Linde found himself in the top five after an early pit stop, but then paid the price for this courageous strategy as his tyres suffered in the final few laps and he came home in 15th place. Followed only by Jamie Green who suffered a similar fate to Loïc Duval on Saturday with the Brit unable to shift gears and had to stop his car.
“A race can hardly be more exciting,” said Head of Audi Motorsport, Dieter Gass. “There were some very tough battles throughout the whole race and until the last lap, it was not really obvious who would win. It was extremely tight between René and Nico. I’m happy that we managed to clinch another one-two victory and that we showed an extremely strong performance in qualifying as well with the top six positions on the grid. In the DTM you simply must never stop improving. I’m already looking forward to next weekend here.”
“Marco Wittmann’s podium is a real highlight, as it is the 300th podium for BMW in the DTM – another milestone in our long history in this racing series,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Marco drove a superb race and pulled off a brilliant and intelligent overtaking manoeuvre shortly before the finish, which ultimately earned him third place. Compliments to everyone on landing four BMW M4 DTMs in third, sixth, seventh and ninth places after the tough qualifying session. We focussed on the race from the outset today, which meant making a compromise in qualifying. We must do a better job of coping with that compromise next week, as the race is obviously easier the further up the grid you start. I feel sorry for Sheldon van der Linde. We called him in early for his pit stop, which catapulted him up the field. Unfortunately, his tyres gave up in the end. On the whole, we have taken a big step forward compared to Spa-Francorchamps. We must back that up next week. Congratulations to René Rast on his win.”
Round Three of the 2020 DTM season will also be hosted at the Lausitzring next weekend (August 22/23) albeit on the slightly longer track.
DTM Lausitzring Sprint Race 2 Results
|RENÉ RAST||AUDI SPORT TEAM ROSBERG||57:09.747|
|NICO MÜLLER||AUDI SPORT TEAM ABT SPORTSLINE||+0.089|
|MARCO WITTMANN||BMW TEAM RMG||+9.567|
|ROBIN FRIJNS||AUDI SPORT TEAM ABT SPORTSLINE||+12.532|
|MIKE ROCKENFELLER||AUDI SPORT TEAM PHOENIX||+13.731|
|TIMO GLOCK||BMW TEAM RMG||+20.395|
|PHILIPP ENG||BMW TEAM RBM||+21.193|
|LOÏC DUVAL||AUDI SPORT TEAM PHOENIX||+25.326|
|JONATHAN ABERDEIN||BMW TEAM RMR||+26.597|
|FERDINAND HABSBURG||WRT TEAM AUDI SPORT||+37.074|
|FABIO SCHERER||WRT TEAM AUDI SPORT||+37.331|
|HARRISON NEWEY||WRT TEAM AUDI SPORT||+37.926|
|ROBERT KUBICA||ART GRAND PRIX||+38.445|
|LUCAS AUER||BMW TEAM RMR||+39.135|
|SHELDON VAN DER LINDE||BMW TEAM RBM||+46.492|
|JAMIE GREEN||AUDI SPORT TEAM ROSBERG||+6 LAPS|