René Rast has won the DTM race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on Sunday. In a dramatic final stage, the German crossed the finish line after 39 laps ahead of his fellow Audi drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Müller. For Rast, this is the third win in his 19th DTM race. On Saturday, the brand from Ingolstadt had already scored a clean sweep of the top three. The tragic hero in an entertaining race was Jamie Green. In the lead with two laps remaining, the Brit dropped back to 14th place due to gearbox problems. In the DTM drivers’ standings, Mattias Ekström remains in the lead prior to the grand finale at Hockenheim. The Audi driver finished fifth behind Mercedes-AMG’s Gary Paffett. Marco Wittmann took the chequered flag in sixth with his BMW M4 DTM.
Jamie Green had to bite the bullet: having started from pole position, the Brit showed a commanding performance in the race and led the 16th race of the season until lap 38. With the 25 points for victory, Green would have considerably reduced the gap to Ekström in the DTM drivers’ standings. However, a gearbox problem on his Audi RS 5 DTM prevented the win. “That really was too bad. Today simply wasn’t my day,” he commented after the race. His fellow Audi driver Rast inherited first place with which he moves up to second in the championship standings. “We controlled the race, but the safety car mixed up everything. The battle for the title is now more open than ever, many things can still happen. At Hockenheim, we will know more,” Rast said.
The safety car intervention was called following a collision between Auer and Spengler, after which the Austrian was unable to drive his car out of the grass quickly enough. After his eighth place on Sunday, the Austrian now remained without any points in his home race. At the restart on lap 31, the front runners held on to their positions, the major loser of the Indycar start was Marco Wittmann. The German dropped back from fourth to seventh. Eventually, Wittmann finished sixth. Gary Paffett on the other hand benefited. The Brit was seventh before the restart and took the chequered flag in fourth.
Prior to the final two races of the season at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the situation in the championship remains thrilling: with 56 points still at stake, six drivers still have mathematical chances of winning the title, first and foremost points’ leader Ekström. The Swede has 172 points to his tally and thus is 21 points ahead of Rast (151). Green (137), Rockenfeller, Wittmann (both 134) and Auer (131) also still have chances to clinch the DTM crown. The 17th and 18th race of the season at Hockenheim (13-15 October, 2017) will bring the decision in the battle for the title.