Nurburgring DTM: Muller bounces back to win Race 2

Nico Muller eased to his fifth DTM victory of the 2020 season at the Nurburgring on Sunday, beating title rivals Robin Frijns and Rene Rast to extend his lead in the drivers’ standings.

At the start of the race, Frijns pulled away cleanly from pole position, with Muller moving up to second after passing the WRT Audi of Ferdinand Habsburg, who had delivered a stellar lap in qualifying to put himself on the front row of the grid.

Rast also managed to clear Habsburg heading into the chicane on the second lap, putting the three championship leaders from the Audi fold at the head of the field.

Frijns was initially able to build an advantage of over one second over his rivals, but Muller brought down the deficit to his Abt Audi teammate to just 0.5s by the end of lap 5.

Two laps later, Muller executed a textbook pass on Frijns heading into Turn 1, moving into the lead for the first time.

Frijns subsequently fell into the clutches of Rast, but the Team Rosberg driver was unable to close the gap sufficiently to attempt a move.

With an on-track pass appearing impossible, Rast tried to undercut Frijns by making his stop on lap 13, but that trick failed when Frijns emerged out of the pits two laps later with a healthy two-second gap.

Out in front, Muller extended his lead to over five seconds after the pitstop, laying the foundation of his second victory in four races.

It also marked a reversal of fortunes for the Swiss driver, who finished down in fifth in Race 1 on Saturday after being turned around by Audi stablemate Jamie Green.

Frijns eventually finished 11.790s behind Muller in second, slipping 18 points behind his Abt teammate in the drivers’ standings.

Rast was unable to stay in touch with the leading duo in the second half of the race, eventually crossing the line 19.526s off Muller after 41 laps of racing.

Sheldon van der Linde finished as the top BMW driver in fourth, ahead of Marco Wittmann, who delivered BMW’s sole podium of the Nurburgring Sprint weekend in Race 1 on Saturday.

Habsburg rapidly slipped down the order in the opening stint, but appeared to be much quicker in the second half of the race, finishing just over a second behind Wittmann in sixth.

Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller was classified seventh after passing the BMW of Timo Glock five laps from the finish. Loic Duval (Audi) and Jonathan Aberdein (BMW) rounded out the points scorers in ninth and 10th respectively.

Formula 1 convert Robert Kubica suffered heartbreak when he was forced to pull into the ART BMW garage with a gearbox issue while running in a points-scoring position.

The Polish driver had qualified a career-best seventh and had moved up to sixth in the opening stages of the race, although was set to drop down the order after being hit with a five-second penalty for incorrectly lining up on the grid.

Race 2 results:

Cla # Driver Car Gap
1 51 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020  
2 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 11.790
3 33 Germany René Rast Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 19.526
4 31 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 22.733
5 11 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 24.016
6 62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 25.713
7 99 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 30.162
8 16 Germany Timo Glock BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 33.795
9 28 France Loic Duval Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 40.763
10 27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 44.264
11 10 United Kingdom Harrison Newey Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 44.645
12 25 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 45.058
13 22 Austria Lucas Auer BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 45.523
14 13 Switzerland Fabio Scherer Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 46.347
15 53 United Kingdom Jamie Green Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 6 Laps

 

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