Robin Frijns took his second victory of the 2020 DTM Series season at the Nürburgring on Sunday as championship leader Nico Müller faded to fifth despite starting from pole position.
Müller held onto the lead ahead of his Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline team-mate Frijns at the start, with the Dutchman forced to defend second place René Rast.
Once clear of Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s Rast, Frijns was able to turn his attention to Müller, with the team-mates able to draw themselves away from the chasing pack ahead of their pit stops. Müller was the first to pit on lap eleven, along with Rast, with Frijns following into the pit lane a lap later, and it was in the second stint the Swiss driver began to struggle with his pace.
On lap sixteen, Frijns was right behind his team-mate, with the move for the lead coming a lap later with Müller not putting up a fight, knowing that he did not have the pace to keep Dutchman behind.
Frijns was then able to pull away from the rest of the field to secure his second victory of the season, but Müller’s pain was only just starting as he found himself under attack from behind.
Lap twenty-five saw Rast pass Müller for second at turn one, while Mike Rockenfeller found his way pass the Swiss driver to take third for Audi Sport Team Phoenix, his first podium finish of 2020. The pain wasn’t over for Müller as Rockenfeller’s team-mate Loïc Duval came through to fourth.
Müller was able to hold onto fifth, his joint-worst result of the season, but the Swiss driver, a four-time winner this year, remains as the championship leader with four rounds of the season to go.
The leading BMW finisher was Sheldon van der Linde of BMW Team RBM in sixth, with the Audi of Jamie Green seventh. The top ten was rounded out by BMW runners with Jonathan Aberdein (BMW Team RMR), Marco Wittmann (BMW Team RMG) and Philipp Eng (BMW Team RBM). Wittmann had dropped to thirteenth on the opening lap but he fought through to secure two points.
Lucas Auer (BMW Team RMR) was the first driver to pit on lap five but his aggressive strategy failed to convert into a points finish, with the Austrian ending eleventh ahead of ORLEN Team ART’s Robert Kubica.
Harrison Newey (Audi Sport Team WRT), Timo Glock (BMW Team RMG) and Ferdinand Habsburg (Audi Sport Team WRT) completed the finishers, with Fabio Scherer (Audi Sport Team WRT) the only retiree, five laps from the end.