Audi’s Edoardo Mortara won his third career DTM race at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring on Saturday, but the big news was the change of points leader following Jamie Green’s early exit from the lead.
From pole position, Mortara was beaten to Turn 1 by fellow front-row man Green. Pascal Wehrlein held third for Mercedes, ahead of teammate Paul di Resta. Christian Vietoris’s Merc passed Augusto Farfus’s best-placed BMW for fifth with an impressive lunge around the outside at Turn 2.
Mortara retook the lead on lap two as Green got stuck in gear, ending his hopes of retaining his points lead.
“The gearshift stopped working,” rued Green. “I was comfortably in the lead, the car felt good, but then when I exited the last corner the upshift didn’t work, and then it wouldn’t downshift into Turn 1. Game over.”
Green’s exit spelled the fourth consecutive race that he’s failed to score points – and his lead that was as much as 23 points is now a deficit to Wehrlein.
Wehrlein was delayed passing Green at Turn 2, allowing di Resta to briefly jump up to second from fourth. Wehrlein quickly repassed di Resta for second on lap four, and set off after Mortara.
Gary Paffett (Mercedes) battled his way up to sixth, passing Robert Wickens when the Canadian ran wide, with Audi’s Mattias Ekstrom taking advantage to grab seventh. Ekstrom later barged past Paffett for sixth on lap six at Turn 2.
Marco Wittmann further demoted Paffett on lap nine, only to run wide a lap later and gift him his position back.
Despite Wehrlein’s threat, Mortara pulled away with ease at the front of the field for a convincing win. Di Resta was a distant third, ahead of the battling Vietoris, Farfus and Ekstrom. Ekstrom grabbed fifth from Farfus on the very last lap with a robust move.
Behind Paffett, Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) battled through to eighth, passing Wittmann with a neat switchback move at Turn 3.
Wehrlein now leads the points on 94, ahead of Ekstrom, Mortara and Green – who has fallen from first to fourth.
|3||Paul Di Resta||Mercedes||41m52.736||11.200|
|13||Antonio Felix da Costa||BMW||42m20.068||38.532|