Paul di Resta leads Mercedes-AMG 1-2 in Brands Hatch Race 2
Paul di Resta has taken his second win of the year in the second race of the weekend at Brands Hatch, and closes up on team-mate Gary Paffett in the standings, with Paffett finishing second and last year’s champion René Rast third for Audi.
Di Resta overtook Gary Paffett at the start as the two HWA Mercedes-AMG drivers went side-by-side through Paddock Hill bend and stayed together through Druids, with di Resta just edging ahead at Graham Hill.
There was trouble behind however, as Lucas Auer’s Mercedes-AMG came together with the Abt Audi RS 5 DTM of Robin Frijns, with the RMG BMW of Augusto Farfus also involved and sustaining front-end damage to his M4 DTM, which would see him retire later in the race.
Frijns was left stuck in the barriers on the inside of Graham Hill bend, with the safety car called, as he recovered himself and rejoined the race.
The race restarted on lap four, with di Resta again holding off Paffett, while Wehrlein tried to get under the pair of them at Paddock Hill bend which allowed the Rosberg Audi of René Rast to have a run on the former champion.
Wehrlein forced Rast wide however at the exit of Druids, which allowed Rast’s team-mate Jamie Green through into fourth.
The pit stops began from lap five, with most drivers having taken their compulsory pit stop by lap nine, while Jamie Green and Audi stablemate Robin Frijns opted for an alternative strategy, with Frijns holding out until lap 24 to stop, and Green all the way until lap 31, with just 11 minutes left of the 55-minute race.
Green rejoined just ahead of Pascal Wehrlein’s Mercedes in fourth, who quickly shot past on warmer tyres. The RMG BMW of Marco Wittmann was then quickly on Green’s car, and tried to make a move to pass him at Surtees, with Green forcing the German off wide. Wittmann still managed to get past, but Green was soon punished by the stewards and given a drive-through penalty, which dropped him to 15th in the final order.
Di Resta maintained the lead ahead of Paffett to the end, with Rast closing up in the final stages to complete the podium.
Pascal Wehrlein finished fourth over ten seconds behind, with Wittmann holding off the Phoenix Audi of Mike Rockenfeller for fifth.
Philipp Eng finished seventh in his RMR BMW ahead of Lucas Auer’s Mercedes-AMG, with yesterday’s race winner Daniel Juncadella ninth in his C63 DTM with Nico Müller completing the top ten for Audi.
Gary Paffett still leads the championship, now on 177 points, with di Resta now 29 points behind. Wittmann and Auer are now tied in third, some 38 points further behind heading to the next round of the DTM at Misano, Italy on August 25th-26th.