- 1-2-3-4 success scored by René Rast, Nico Müller, Robin Frijns and Loïc Duval
- All eight Audi RS 5 DTM at the front of the field in qualifying
- René Rast extends lead with maximum points score
Audi has dominated the DTM round at Brands Hatch with a 1-2-3-4 success, maximum points scored, an historic result in qualifying and extending the lead in all three championships of the DTM.
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Organisers of the British DTM race promoted the second race of the DTM at Brands Hatch as ‘Super Sunday’ attracting thousands of spectators to the tradition-steeped race track on the outskirts of London. As early as in qualifying, they witnessed an impressive demonstration of the strength from the Audi RS 5 DTM. All eight Audi drivers clearly improved on their Saturday qualifying to and secure the top eight spots on the grid. The DTM had only seen eight cars from the same brand at the front of the grid once before in 2016 in Budapest – Audi was the brand responsible on this occasion as well.
The squad around Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass converted the dream result in qualifying into the first 1-2-3-4 success achieved by an automobile manufacturer in the new turbo era of the DTM. This meant that in the manufacturers’ championship, Audi scored the maximum number of 76 points that are possible on one race day.
In the drivers’ championship, René Rast, with his fifth pole position and fourth victory this season, extended his lead of the standings. The driver from Audi Sport Team Rosberg secured the top spot on the grid with an advantage of nearly three 10ths of a second and started from the top three for the 10th time in succession. The only concern of the 2017 DTM Champion coming from having to drive his second stint on a mixed set of tyres, because of earlier damage to a front tyre.
“Pole position was clearly the key to success today,” Rast said after clinching the 14th victory in total of his DTM career.
“My pace in the race was okay, but not superior. Scoring the maximum number of points and clinching victory from pole for the first time this year anyhow is fantastic.”
By finishing in second position, Nico Müller from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline consolidated his second place in the standings.
“I didn’t have a good qualifying today either,” said the Swiss.
“On my second set of tyres, I hit traffic. That’s why the result was only sixth place. In the race, we were fast, but I lost the chance of battling for victory with René due to a slow pit stop. Even so, I’m happy about the good points scored this weekend.”
The podium was completed by Robin Frijns, who the day before had inhaled emissions due to a defect on the exhaust system and woke up with headaches on Sunday.
“The race today was good, my car was superb,” said the Dutchman.
“After a mediocre start, I was running behind Loïc (Duval) in fourth position. I had the feeling of being a little faster and overtook him after the pit stop. After that, I actually just watched my tyres.”
Loïc Duval from Audi Sport Team Phoenix, in fourth position, perfected Audi’s 1-2-3-4 success. In the last third of the race, the Frenchman managed to defend himself against the vehement attacks by BMW driver Philipp Eng, although Eng had pitted later and was running on clearly fresher tyres. Duval’s teammate, Mike Rockenfeller, finished sixth, shortly behind Duval and Eng.
Jamie Green again scored no points in his home round on Sunday. Having started from the second row, the Briton lost chances of a good result due to a five-second penalty because his Audi RS 5 DTM was not exactly within the start box when the race began. The subsequent two-stop strategy did not pan out for Green.
Audi’s customer team WRT Team Audi Sport went home without points on Sunday. Jonathan Aberdein lost a possible seventh position due to a spin shortly before the end of the race. For Pietro Fittipaldi, a two-stop strategy did not work out either. Remarkably, after a heavy accident on Saturday, his mechanics had repaired the Audi RS 5 DTM overnight.
“For Audi, it was truly a Super Sunday” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass.
“It started with the top eight spots in qualifying. In a situation like this, you always worry that you can only lose in the race. But everything went well. We’re in the middle of the title race, tried to help René and Nico as best we could and focused our strategy on Marco Wittmann. That worked well. In the end, the situation got close with Philipp Eng, who was running on fresher tyres and kept us on edge. But Loïc did a great job of defending himself. As a result, we managed to get four cars to finish in the top four spots. That’s a fantastic result! ‘Thank you’ to all who made this success possible.”
The DTM continues on August 24 and 25 at the Lausitzring. At the circuit some 100 kilometres south of Berlin, the DTM will celebrate its 500th race on the Sunday.