Bruno Spengler claims his first DTM win since 2017 at the Norisring
BMW Motorsport Team RMG driver Bruno Spengler scored his first victory of the season and his first since 2017 at the Norisring after claiming the lead on the first lap. Championship leader and Audi driver René Rast spun on the opening lap, but was able to finish in the points.
Rast lit up his tyres at the start of the race, with fellow Audi drivers Nico Müller and Loïc Duval getting ahead into Turn 1. As the trio battled for positions, Spengler managed to take the lead of the race.
Not long after, Müller and Rast made contact, with Rast spinning off at the chicane. The Swiss received a drive-through penalty for the incident, whilst Rast pitted at the end of the first lap, together with Duval. Müller completed his penalty at the end of lap four.
Audi driver Jamie Green closed the gap to Phillip Eng in the battle for second place, with both touching at Turn 1 on lap nine and with the Briton getting ahead. Green was however ordered to return the position to the Austrian by the stewards.
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline’s Robin Frijns overtook Green for third place on lap 16, with the Team Rosberg driver pitting for new tyres at the end of that lap.
Light rain was reported on lap 27 at Turn 7, with the race director declaring a wet race, allowing for wet tyres.
Audi Sport Team Phoenix driver Mike Rockenfeller overtook BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann at Turn 1 on lap 32 for fourth position, with the local hero not having the weekend he had hoped for.
Spengler and Eng pitted at the end of lap 32 from positions one and two, both getting slicks on their BMW M4 DTM race cars. Green was able to undercut Eng and was just 1.4 seconds behind Spengler for the virtual lead of the race. However, the Audi driver would soon fall behind the Canadian, as a light rain continued falling over the track.
Further behind, Eng closed the gap to Duval, overtaking for third place at Turn 1 on lap 43. The Frenchman would also fall prey to Frijns a lap later. The Dutchman continued moving forward, soon getting close to Eng. Duval continued falling back, losing places to team-mate Rockenfeller and to Wittmann on lap 48.
Frijns overtook Eng for third place at Turn 1 on lap 50, with Rockenfeller right behind the pair. The 2013 champion overtook the Austrian for fourth position a lap later, with Frijns taking third place from the Dutchman.
Wittmann slowed down on lap 65 due to an engine issue, limping back to the pits to retire. Meanwhile, Rast had worked his way through the pack and was up to seventh place.
At the chequered flag, Spengler took his first win of the season, followed on the podium by Green and Rockenfeller.
Frijns finished fourth, with Eng in fifth. Duval was sixth, followed by Rast, Müller and Timo Glock who recovered his way through the pack to finish ninth after starting from the pit lane. Aston Martin driver Daniel Juncadella took the final point, his second straight point-scoring finish of the weekend.
Rast continues leading the championship on 127 points, followed by Müller with 102 points and Eng with 101 points. The next round of the DTM takes place in two weeks’ time at Assen.