After a double dose of bad luck in Saturday’s opening race and Sunday morning’s qualifying session, René Rast (GER, Audi) rolled the strategical dice and scored spectacularly to take his first DTM race victory of the 2019 season.
In Sunday’s race at Hockenheim, the German amply demonstrated why he has been feted as one of this year’s title favourites, blending guile and nerve to move through the field from 16th on the grid. He benefited from a mid-race Safety Car intervention to make an early pit-stop for fresh rubber, only just caught the field for the restart, and then pushed hard before making a second stop that helped him consolidate his advantage over the field.
Sometimes up to 1.5 seconds quicker than his rivals throughout the race, he also used his DRS (Drag Reduction System) to overtake one opponent after another. Nico Müller (SUI, Audi) and Robin Frijns (NED, Audi) also made it onto the podium after a thrilling dice with pole-sitter Philipp Eng (AUT, BMW).
Sunshine after the rain: Philipp Eng – bad luck, pole position and then almost a podium
For Eng, Sunday was a worthy reward after a difficult and disappointing Saturday. The Austrian had been stranded on the track during Saturday’s qualifying session with an engine sensor issue. But, as the sunshine returned, so did his good fortune. In the morning’s qualifying session, Eng claimed a dominant pole position, made an incendiary start and led during the first stint. After the mandatory pit-stop, however, he ceded positions to Audi drivers Rast, Müller and Frijns, but came home fourth, the best-placed BMW driver of the day.
Aston Martin also maintained much of the promising momentum it had gathered during Saturday’s qualifying and race sessions. Paul Di Resta (GBR) dived into the pits just before the Safety Car was deployed and benefited from an ideal track position as a result. From lap 24 onwards, the Scot racked up the very first miles in the lead for DTM’s newest manufacturer in the DTM. Di Resta also opted for a two-stop strategy and finished in a quietly impressive seventh place as a result.
From May 17-19, DTM rolls into Zolder, Belgium – venue of the first-ever DTM race back in 1984 – for rounds three and four of the 2019 season.
Results – race 2, Hockenheim
01 René Rast (GER), Audi, 37 laps in 58m 53.819s
02 Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, + 11.922s
03 Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, + 12.184s
04 Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW), + 17.952s
05 Bruno Spengler (CAN), BMW, + 22.769s
06 Timo Glock (GER), BMW, + 37.615s
07 Paul Di Resta (GBR), Aston Martin, + 37.920s
08 Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, + 44.294s
09 Jamie Green (GBR), Audi, + 47.031s
10 Joel Eriksson (SWA), BMW, + 49.079s
Fastest lap: Pietro Fittipaldi (BRA), Audi RS 5 DTM, 1m 30.401s
Pole position: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW M4 DTM, 1m 28.972s
Weather conditions: 10–13°C, cloudy
Circuit conditions: 14–15°C, dry