Lausitzring DTM: Rast holds off Muller on last lap to win

Audi star Rene Rast held off a charging Nico Muller on the final lap to win the second DTM race at Lausitzring by a hair-thin margin of 0.089s.

Rast made a brilliant launch from third on the grid to challenge polesitter Frijns into Turn 1, but ran off the track and settled behind his Audi stablemate in second, as Muller dropped to fourth from the front row.

However, the reigning champion didn’t wait long before making another move, diving down the inside of Frijns at the same corner two laps later to take the lead of the race.

The two Audi drivers battled for position for one last time after the pitstops, after Frijns successfully managed to undercut Rast to move himself back into the lead.

Frijns initially appeared to have done after building a 2.5s lead up front, only Rast to rapidly close in on him and snatch the top spot on lap 25.

Muller, meanwhile, took an inspired decision to wait until lap 20 to make his mandatory pitstop, which initially dropped him to sixth but propelled him to winning contention slowly on.

Once his tyres were up to temperature, Muller started clearing cars in rapid succession, passing Wittmann on lap 34 to move into a podium position.

Two laps later he dispatched a struggling Frijns for second and then started chasing Rast for the lead, the reigning champion sitting comfortably at front with an advantage of three seconds.

Muller brought the deficit down to under one second on the penultimate lap but failed to sufficiently close in enough to make a move into turn 1, the de facto overtaking point at Lausitzring.

He also appeared too far behind Rast on the final corner, but a great exit allowed him to run virtually side-by-side onto the finish line, falling short of victory by less than a tenth of a second.

The result marked Rast’s first win of the year after he was stripped of his first place finish at Spa due to a push-to-pass infringement.

Wittmann passed Frijns later on in the race to finish third and ensure a second podium for  BMW in as many races after a disappointing season opener at Spa.

Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller was the last driver to pit on lap 21, with the strategic decision allowing him to climb up to fifth, ahead of the BMW pairing of Timo Glock and Philipp Eng.

Loic Duval had a difficult race to finish the lowest among the factory Audi crew in eighth, while BMW’s Jonathan Aberdein and WRT Audi’s Ferdinand Habsburg completing the top 10, the latter dropping down the order after qualifying a strong fourth in his customer RS5.

Jamie Green was the only driver to retire from the race, the DTM veteran’s Audi stopping on lap 37 with mechanical troubles.

Robert Kubica bagged another 13th place finish in the ART-run BMW, ahead of the factory M4s of Lucas Auer and Sheldon van der Linde.

DTM Lausitzring - second race results:

Cla Driver Car Gap
1 Germany René Rast Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020  
2 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 0.089
3 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 9.567
4 Netherlands Robin Frijns Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 12.532
5 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 13.731
6 Germany Timo Glock BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 20.395
7 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 21.193
8 France Loic Duval Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 25.326
9 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 26.597
10 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 37.074
11 Switzerland Fabio Scherer Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 37.331
12 United Kingdom Harrison Newey Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 37.926
13 Poland Robert Kubica BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 38.445
14 Austria Lucas Auer BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 39.135
15 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 46.492
16 United Kingdom Jamie Green Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 6 Laps
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