Zolder DTM: Rast takes dominant win, Kubica on the podium

Rene Rast claimed his fourth successive DTM win at Zolder to extend his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings, as Formula 1 convert Robert Kubica scored his maiden podium finish.

At the start of the race, WRT Audi’s Ferdinand Habsburg led the field from fellow front row starter Rast, with Nico Muller getting the jump on both Robin Frijns and Fabio Scherer to move up to third position.

There was drama on lap 5 when BMW's Jonathan Aberdein rear-ended Scherer going into Turn 5, with the WRT driver then collecting an innocent Frijns who was running ahead of the two.

All three drivers retired from the race, with Frijns in particular suffering a big blow to his title hopes with what was his second DNF in as many rounds.

Not long after the race went back under green, the BMWs of Lucas Auer and Philipp Eng came together at Turn 3, two corners after Auer was hit by Audi debutant Benoit Treluyer.

Eng had to pull across the track after the front-right side of his BMW caught fire, while both Auer and Treluyer also retired from the race after returning to the pits.

Following another safety car period caused by the two crashes, the race resumed on lap 11 with Habsburg leading from Rast, Muller, Mike Rockenfeller and Jamie Green in an all-Audi top five.

Habsburg and Muller peeled into the pits on lap 13, with Rast and Rockenfeller following suit a lap later. This turned out to be the deciding moment of the race as both Rast and Rockenfeller got the overcut on their fellow Audi drivers, jumping to first and second respectively.

Both Habsburg and Muller managed to clear Rockenfeller after he locked up at Turn 5, but neither could respond to Rast’s pace, the two-time championship cruising to an 11-second win.

With that result, he completed a clean sweep of victories in the two rounds at Zolder, putting himself well clear of title rivals Muller and Frijns heading into the season finale at Hockenheim.

Behind, Habsburg began to fade in the closing stages of the race, allowing Muller to clear him with ease at the final chicane on lap 26 and limit the damage to form man Rast.

Kubica shined at Zolder to finish a surprise third, securing a first podium in an otherwise difficult rookie season with BMW’s customer team ART.

The Polish driver was up to sixth by the time the race resumed on lap 11 after two early safety car periods, and got the jump on Rockenfeller and Green by making a late stop on lap 18.

Ten laps later he passed the struggling WRT of Habsburg, finishing as the top driver from the BMW fold in third.

BMW’s Timo Glock rose from 14th on the grid to finish fourth at the flag, ahead of the Audis of Green and Rockenfeller.

Sheldon van der Linde was classified eighth for BMW, while his stablemate Marco Wittmann successfully held off WRT’s Harrison Newey to take ninth.

Habsburg was last of the classified finishers in 10th in a race that saw six retirees after being forced to make an unscheduled second pitstop late in the race.

Race 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 11.500
3 8 Poland Robert Kubica BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 25.785
4 16 Germany Timo Glock BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 29.572
5 53 United Kingdom Jamie Green Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 30.209
6 99 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 31.971
7 31 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 33.095
8 11 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 47.199
9 10 United Kingdom Harrison Newey Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 47.651
10 62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1 Lap
  22 Austria Lucas Auer BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 34 Laps
  19 France Benoit Tréluyer Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 34 Laps
13 25 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 35 Laps
  27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 38 Laps
  13 Switzerland Fabio Scherer Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 38 Laps
16 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 39 Laps
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Zolder DTM: Habsburg takes shock pole from Rast

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