Hockenheim DTM: Auer fights off Glock in tense opener

Mercedes drive Lucas Auer fended off late-charger Timo Glock to win the first DTM race of the 2017 season at Hockenheim.

Hockenheim DTM: Auer fights off Glock in tense opener
Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM, Loic Duval, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM
Augusto Farfus, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Nico Müller, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi RS 5 DTM
Jamie Green, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Audi RS 5 DTM
Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Bruno Spengler, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM
Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM
Maxime Martin, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM
Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM

Auer had started the race from pole and led comfortably in the early stages, but had to survive a late assault from BMW driver Glock to claim his second win in the series.

As Auer launched well off the line at the start in his Team BWT Mercedes C63, Glock was able to slot into third by jumping ahead of Mercedes new boy and Auer’s team-mate Edoardo Mortara before clearing Gary Paffett’s Mercedes for second a lap later.

But despite getting clear, Glock could not keep pace with Auer in the opening stint, the Austrian advancing as far as nine seconds up the road from the chasing pack as Glock came under increasing pressure from behind.

Having withstood a couple of half-lunges from Paffett, Glock was able to claw back some of his deficit to Auer before the pair both opted to stop on lap 17 - and the ex-F1 driver made up further ground when Auer was delayed slightly while exiting his pitbox.

Glock’s hopes of challenging for victory looked to have been dashed as he was overtaken on his lap out of the pits by Mike Rockenfeller – the Audi driver having pitted early out of sequence to elevate himself into a net second place.

But Team RMG driver fought his way back past at the two-thirds distance and, when Mattias Ekstrom and Loic Duval eventually pitted from first and second, set about chasing down Auer.

With five laps remaining Glock had wrestled his way to within DRS range of Auer and wasted no time in trying to startle the long-time leader, harrying the Mercedes man from the Parabolika to the stadium section.

That trend continued, but Auer was wise to Glock’s advances and quickly shut down any attacks.

The pair made slight contact at the hairpin on the penultimate lap but held station, before Glock eventually ceded his chase – crossing the line 1.942s down.

Rockenfeller had briefly flirted with the lead battle once more as the front two squabbled, but spent the final lap resisting Mortara to claim his first podium since the 2015 season – a fine return from 16th on the grid.

Behind Mortara, Ekstrom was another big mover on his way to fifth, as was Rene Rast.

On his first start as a full-time driver for Audi, Rast picked his way through the field – including a brilliant pass on Paul di Resta at the hairpin and subsequent brusque defence of the place – to claim sixth ahead of Paffett and di Resta.

Nico Muller and 2016 DTM champion Marco Wittmann completed the points.

Race 1 results:

Pos.DriverCarGap
1 austria Lucas Auer  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM  
2 germany Timo Glock  BMW M4 DTM 1.942
3 germany Mike Rockenfeller  Audi RS5 DTM 3.351
4 italy Edoardo Mortara  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 3.984
5 sweden Mattias Ekström  Audi RS5 DTM 4.275
6 germany René Rast  Audi RS5 DTM 5.855
7 united_kingdom Gary Paffett  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 6.956
8 united_kingdom Paul di Resta  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 13.648
9 switzerland Nico Müller  Audi RS5 DTM 17.510
10 germany Marco Wittmann  BMW M4 DTM 19.190
11 belgium Maxime Martin  BMW M4 DTM 20.800
12 canada Bruno Spengler  BMW M4 DTM 21.504
13 brazil Augusto Farfus  BMW M4 DTM 25.351
14 france Loic Duval  Audi RS5 DTM 34.343
15 canada Robert Wickens  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 43.948
16 united_kingdom Tom Blomqvist  BMW M4 DTM 44.956
17 germany Maro Engel  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 51.525
18 united_kingdom Jamie Green  Audi RS5 DTM 1'02.944
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