A chaotic second race of DTM’s Imola weekend was won by ABT Sportsline driver Ricardo Feller.
The Swiss driver would’ve feared the worst after losing first place to fellow front-row starter Felipe Fraga on the opening lap. Feller went slightly wide coming out of the final rivazza corner allowing the Red Bull AF Corse behind him to get better traction and take the lead of the race.
Fraga’s season so far has been full of bad luck and retirements. But, at this point in the race it was clear the Brazilian had more pace in his Ferrari. He began to extend his lead at the front to more than two seconds.
At a notoriously difficult track to overtake, opportunities to move up the field are hard to come by. However, when Rolf Ineichen and Thomas Preining collided, the pack was bunched back together as the safety car was brought out.
With the field under caution, most of the front-running drivers pitted on lap seven. While in the pitlane, Italian Mirko Bortolotti was involved in a pitlane collision with Lucas Auer. Bortolotti was penalised for an unsafe release and ordered by the stewards to give the place back.
At the restart, Fraga was swallowed up by the pack. Not only was the lead lost, but he also collided with Lucas Auer, suffering a puncture in the process. His fifth retirement from six races held so far.
The big surprise of the race came from Dev Gore. The Team Rosberg driver finished in second place after starting from a lowly twenty-first on the grid. After spinning early in the race, he was able to pit strategically at the right time as a result. Gore held off veterans of the series, Marco Wittmann and Lucas Auer, to win his first ever DTM championship points.
Championship leader Sheldon Van der Linde would have left Imola a satisfied man after extending his lead with a sterling fifth-place finish.
At the front with Felipe Fraga out and Dev Gore busy with keeping his second place from those behind, Ricardo Feller was left relatively unchallenged at the front to win his first DTM race.
The championship heads to the Norisring for the next round from 1 – 3 July.