René Rast wins at Zolder to claim championship lead
Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver René Rast completed a ‘perfect day’ at Zolder to take his fifth victory of the season, his third consecutive. Team ABT Sportsline driver Nico Müller could only manage sixth place, with Rast claiming the championship lead.
Rast took the lead at the start of the race from pole position ahead of WRT driver Ferdinand Habsburg and Robin Frijns.
Championship leader Nico Müller started from eighth on the grid, but got tangled with Harrison Newey and Timo Glock, with the Swiss getting out of shape and falling down to 14th place.
The incidents on the opening laps left debris on the track, with the safety car called into action.
The safety car headed back into the pits after two laps, with Müller climbing up to eleventh position at the restart.
Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller meanwhile retired to the pits as Team RBM’s Sheldon van der Linde received a drive-through penalty for an infringement of the safety car restart procedure.
DTM newcomer Benoît Tréluyer received a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane as he completed his compulsory pit stop at the end of lap eight.
Müller continued his way upwards, attacking WRT driver Newey on lap ten to overtake the Briton for tenth place. Team Rosberg’s Jamie Green spun at the chicane on the following lap after contact with Philipp Eng. BMW Team RBM driver Eng received a drive-through penalty for the incident.
Habsburg and Frijns pitted at the end of lap eleven, with the Dutchman overtaking the Austrian for second in the pits. Rast pitted from the lead a lap later.
Rast rejoined the track ahead of Frijns, but the Dutch driver soon started to close the gap to the Team Rosberg driver. The two were close but Frijns went wide on lap 19, losing ground to Rast.
Müller caught up with WRT’s Fabio Scherer for fifth position, but the championship leader wasn’t able to get under his rear bumper, with Newey and Glock instead closing on the Swiss driver.
Green caught up with Glock, with both going side-by-side on lap 35 for half a lap. The pair touched at the Gilles Villeneuve chicane, with the Team Rosberg driver getting ahead of Glock. The Briton received a warning and had to give the position back.
The positions remained stable until the end of the race, with Rast claiming his fifth victory of the year ahead of Frijns and Habsburg.
Aberdein crossed the finishing line in fourth position, ahead of Scherer, Müller and Newey. Green overtook Glock on the final lap for eighth position, with Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann completing the top ten.
Rast heads the standings on 277 points, ten points over Müller and 15 ahead of Frijns.
The DTM returns to the track on Sunday morning for qualifying at 10:30 CEST.