Marco Wittmann has taken win in Hockenheim on the last race of the season after beating Rast and Rockenfeller. On an epic fight for the championship, it’s been Rast who is crowned as the DTM champion on his debut season.
Race started and Tom Blomqvist held the lead, but there was some moves behind him. Marco Wittmann improved to second ahead of Lucas Auer and Robert Wickens as René Rast fell to fifth. As for the other championship contenders, Mike Rockenfeller was sixth, Mattias Ekström was 15th and Jamie Green, with obvious problems, was 18th and last.
On lap 5, Rast overtook Wickens for fourth place, a move that put him as the virtual champion. The first pit stops came at the end of lap 7 as Nico Müller and Maro Engel pitted.
Few minutes later, Rast overtook Auer and was already third. Rockenfeller moved up to fifth after passing Wickens. On the other hand, Ekström passed Bruno Spengler for tenth place, but this was not his real positions as some drivers ahead of him had pitted.
On lap 12, Wittmann and Auer pitted and Rast and Rockenfeller were promoted to second and third place, respectively. Rast caught Blomqvist and, before he could pass, the BMW driver did his pit stop. He returned to track behind Wittmann, who had undercut him.
Already on the second half of the race, the four championship contenders, Edoardo Mortara and Bruno Spengler were the only ones yet to pit. Mortara did on lap 22, which caused that the four Audis that were fighting for the title were on the top 4 positions.
Rast and Rockenfeller pitted on lap 23. Rast came back on fifth place, between Wittmann and Blomqvist; while Rockenfeller was tenth. Blomqvist and Wickens were battling for sixth and they made contact, which left debris on track. Wickens was given a drive through penalty due to that but both of them ended up retiring.
Ekström and Green pitted on lap 25. With Spengler yet to pit, Rast was third, Rockenfeller was fifth but he passed Maxime Martin for fourth, Green was 12th and Ekström was 14th. The situation would still give the title to Rast.
The Audi rookie caught and passed Spengler on track, despite some light contact. Green overtook Paul Di Resta and Müller and was tenth as Ekström passed those two and Timo Glock to improve to eleventh. Green and Ekström also passed Auer and Mortara for 8th and 9th.
On lap 32, Spengler finally pitted and returned to track last. Gary Paffett passed Martin for fourth. Green passed Augusto Farfus for sixth and Martin for fifth place on the last laps.
Race concluded and Wittmann took his only win on a quite deceiving title defense season. Rast has finished second on his fifth podium finish of the season and Rockenfeller has finished third. Paffett, Green, Martin, Farfus, Ekström, Mortara and Auer complete the points zone.
These results give the championship to René Rast, who has driven today with almost no mistakes and took advantage from his rivals’ problem to be crowned as the 2017 DTM champion on his debut season with 3 wins and 5 podiums. Ekström finishes as runner-up with only 3 points less than Rast. Green finishes third, six points behind the champion and Rockenfeller has been fourth, 12 points behind.
That marks the end of another great DTM season, with 12 race winners and four-side championship battle until the very last lap. The next season, the last one with Mercedes-Benz on the grid, will start next year, in May.