Lausitzring DTM: Rast passes Frijns, Muller for victory

Rene Rast claimed his second victory of the 2020 DTM season in a wet/dry race at the Lausitzring after overhauling fellow Audi drivers Nico Muller and Robin Frijns. 

On a wet track, Muller pulled away cleanly from pole position in his Abt Audi, with teammate Robin Frijns following behind in second after getting the jump on Rast, who made a sluggish start from the front row of the grid.

Muller initially faced intense pressure from Frijns as they ran nose-to-tail in the opening laps, but the Swiss driver was able to eventually pull away from his teammate and establish a three-second lead out front.

The complexion of the change race changed roughly midway through the 55-minute encounter, as the sole round of mandatory pitstops began from lap 10 onwards.

Fabio Scherer was the first driver to head to the pitlane to dump his worn out wet tyres, and immediately found himself two seconds quicker on slicks than race leader Muller, prompting others to follow suit.

Among the frontrunners, Frijns and Rast were the first to stop on lap 13, with Muller staying out for another tour before diving into the pits.

This turned out to be the crucial moment of the race, as both Frijns and BMW man Philipp Eng - who had pitted even earlier on lap 12  - cleared Muller while the Abt driver built heat into his tyres after his stop.

Muller subsequently lost further positions to both Marco Wittmann and Rast, dropping down to fifth place.

However, as the laps wore on, the race started coming back towards Rast and Muller, both clearing the BMWs of Eng and Wittmann to move back into the podium positions.

Rast, who was running ahead of Muller, then started chasing Frijns for the lead, closing right on his tail by lap 27.

The reigning champion initially tried to pass Frijns on the outside of Turn 1, but then moved across to gain the inside line into Turn 2, which proved crucial in him taking the lead of the race.

Muller followed Rast through two laps later, but was unable to close the two-second gap to his title rival and settled for second, as Frijns dropped five seconds behind the leader but hung onto the final spot on the podium.

Former F1 driver Timo Glock staged an amazing recovery drive after beaching his car in qualifying, finishing as the top BMW in fourth.

Glock had originally qualified dead last for the race, but gained two positions after WRT Audi duo Ferdinand Habsburg and Harrison Newey were penalised for speeding under a red flag.

The German driver was up to 10th by the fourth lap already and then took advantage of an early stop to record his best result since last year’s Hockenheim finale.

Wittmann dropped to fifth in the sister BMW after struggling for pace late on, but still finished six seconds clear of the factory Audi of Mike Rockenfeller, to whom he had lost a place to prior to the pitstops.

Loic Duval made a great start to move up to sixth early on but was unable to capitalise on that and ended up sixth, ahead of the BMWs of Eng and Sheldon van der Linde.

Completing the top 10 was Audi’s Jamie Green, who beat Habsburg for the final points-paying position by a second.

Robert Kubica was promoted to 12th on the grid after penalties for Habsburg and Newey, but made a slow start off the line and dropped to 16th in his ART-run BMW.

Lausitzring DTM: Race 1 results:

Cla # Driver Car Gap
1 33 Germany René Rast Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020  
2 51 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1.969
3 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 4.922
4 16 Germany Timo Glock BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 7.590
5 11 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 13.282
6 99 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 19.371
7 28 France Loic Duval Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 20.273
8 25 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 21.829
9 31 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 22.665
10 53 United Kingdom Jamie Green Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 25.389
11 62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 26.431
12 22 Austria Lucas Auer BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 29.221
13 13 Switzerland Fabio Scherer Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 29.610
14 27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 43.323
15 10 United Kingdom Harrison Newey Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 51.275
16 8 Poland Robert Kubica BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'09.158
shares
comments
Lausitzring DTM: Muller pips Rast to pole in wet qualifying

Previous article

Lausitzring DTM: Muller pips Rast to pole in wet qualifying

Next article

Lausitzring DTM: Frijns beats Muller to pole by 0.018s

Lausitzring DTM: Frijns beats Muller to pole by 0.018s
Load comments
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Prime

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works.

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Prime

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Prime

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020
Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit Prime

Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM at the end of 2020 was the latest blow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive.

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing Prime

Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was a detractor of Formula E and held a reluctance for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. However, this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure DTM's existence as the motorsport world moves forward

DTM
Dec 13, 2019