Hockenheim DTM: Muller wins finale in torrential conditions
Nico Muller ended the DTM season with victory in torrential conditions at Hockenheim after bizarre early scenes that included an Aston Martin catching fire and a SUPER GT car crashing.
Muller held onto his lead at the start and was given an immediate boost as a five-car battle for second place instantly erupted between the fast-starters of Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Wittmann, as well as Rene Rast, Jamie Green and Timo Glock.
But the duel came to an end almost instantly when the R-Motorsport Aston Martin of Daniel Juncadella pulled off the track and the safety team was called to put out the fire under red-flag conditions.
That came after Paul di Resta retired on the formation lap due to an engine problem during a weekend in which R-Motorsport has been blighted by reliability problems.
Cassidy had previously crashed the TOM'S Lexus during Friday's practice, limiting his track time as SUPER GT acclimatises to the DTM's format.
Once the race resumed, Muller held onto his lead but came under fire from Rast - the victor of the earlier five-car battle - and the 2019 DTM champion took the lead from his former title rival after Muller initially defended resolutely at the hairpin.
Muller opted to make his mandatory pitstop on the sixth lap of 27 and Rast followed a lap later, with the Audi Rosberg driver enjoying a quicker pitstop.
Rast held the lead but lost it shortly after when the two-time DTM champion ran wide on the exit of the Turn 10 right-hander, allowing Muller past to cruise to victory.
Muller's status as winner took until the final lap to be confirmed as Audi's Jamie Green and BMW's Joel Eriksson ran until the penultimate lap before making his pitstop.
Rast would not finish second, however, as Rockenfeller had passed his Audi stablemate not long after Muller's eventual race-winning move.
BMW's Glock managed to hold off Green once the Audi driver returned to the track to take fourth, with Eriksson's identical strategy leaving him sixth.
Wittmann had looked set to challenge for a podium finish but an unsafe release earned him a drive through penalty that meant he could only finish 12th.
His stablemate Philipp Eng and WRT Audi's Pietro Fittipaldi also earned drive-through penalties, but their offences were for failing to respect the three-minute rule under red flag conditions, which related to the tyres being fitted and the cars not being on their jacks three minutes before a race restart.
Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button had warned on Saturday that wet conditions would not suit the SUPER GT cars. His prediction proved accurate, as he finished a muted 16th place, but his Honda crew did significantly improve their pitstop after Saturday's delay.
The NISMO-run Nissan of Ronnie Quintarelli was 17th, having made a stop under the early safety car which meant he had to make a mandatory stop later in the race.
|1||51||Nico Müller||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||27|
|2||99||Mike Rockenfeller||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||27||3.835|
|3||33||René Rast||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||27||8.403|
|4||16||Timo Glock||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||27||11.849|
|5||53||Jamie Green||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||27||13.094|
|6||47||Joel Eriksson||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||27||16.248|
|7||4||Robin Frijns||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||27||22.172|
|8||76||Jake Dennis||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||27||36.954|
|9||7||Bruno Spengler||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||27||51.319|
|10||28||Loic Duval||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||27||55.877|
|11||62||Ferdinand Habsburg||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||27||58.838|
|12||11||Marco Wittmann||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||27||59.767|
|13||31||Sheldon Van Der Linde||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||27||1'00.417|
|14||25||Philipp Eng||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||27||1'01.873|
|15||21||Pietro Fittipaldi||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||27||1'30.051|
|16||1||Jenson Button||Honda NSX-GT||27||1'55.243|
|17||35||Tsugio Matsuda||Nissan/ R35||26||1 Lap|
|27||Jonathan Aberdein||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||14||13 Laps|
|23||Daniel Juncadella||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||0|
|37||Nick Cassidy||Lexus LC500||0|
|View full results|
Hockenheim DTM: Muller on pole after Rockenfeller penalty
Glock drove one-handed to keep car door closed