Audi ends 2018 DTM winless run with Rene Rast's Zandvoort victory

Reigning champion Rene Rast gave Audi its first DTM win of the season at Zandvoort, as Mercedes' Gary Paffett further extended his championship lead by finishing second

Audi ends 2018 DTM winless run with Rene Rast's Zandvoort victory

Paffett was sensationally quick at the start, scorching away from pole position to open 1.6 seconds on the BMW of fellow front-row starter Philipp Eng on the opening lap.

From third position, Rast immediately dived for the pits at the end of lap one, giving himself a clear track but having virtually the whole race to make his second set of Hankook tyres last.

Paffett was five seconds to the good after five laps, but by now Rast was lapping faster and, by the time the Briton pitted at the end of lap 10, it was apparent that the Team Rosberg-run RS5 would move in front.

The championship leader's stop wasn't the quickest either, which meant that he was 2.3s adrift of Rast by the time he completed his first lap after his stop.

The Mercedes veteran brought the gap down to 1.6s, but Rast began to stretch away again before there was a safety car after Jamie Green locked up and punted Bruno Spengler's BMW into the gravel trap at Tarzanbocht.

The later stoppers had just pitted by this stage, leaving Rast to lead Paffett and Paul di Resta's Mercedes at the restart.

For the majority of the race's remainder, Rast maintained the gap at just over half a second, but Paffett trimmed it to 0.4s with three laps remaining, before finally the Audi pulled away again and crossed the line 0.8s to the good.

Eng lost time in the early laps defending his second place furiously from the Mercedes cars of Pascal Wehrlein and di Resta, while Wehrlein also lost ground by running relatively deep into the race on his first set of tyres.

The BMW driver and his stablemate Augusto Farfus took fourth and fifth, running very close to the leading trio in the closing stages.

Farfus benefited when Wehrlein, who had just emerged from his stop, had a double contact with Nico Muller's Audi, Farfus swooping to pass both in one go.

Wehrlein eventually took sixth from Muller, who earned the black-and-white warning flag for his stout defence of seventh from the Mercedes of Edoardo Mortara, who was briefly forced off track.

Lucas Auer was ninth for Mercedes, with early-season title contender Timo Glock rounding out the points scorers - the BMW man was running last but one when the safety car emerged, and took a worthwhile punt on a second set of new tyres to make up some positions.

Glock also benefited from late problems for Mike Rockenfeller, whose Audi was running seventh when it lost time and he was forced to make a second stop, and Marco Wittmann, who was ninth at the restart when his BMW sustained a front-left puncture in the jostling after the race went green.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Rene Rast Rosberg Audi 56m44.864s
2 Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 0.824s
3 Paul Di Resta HWA Mercedes 1.349s
4 Philipp Eng RMR BMW 1.825s
5 Augusto Farfus RMG BMW 2.123s
6 Pascal Wehrlein HWA Mercedes 3.200s
7 Nico Muller Abt Audi 4.883s
8 Edoardo Mortara HWA Mercedes 6.302s
9 Lucas Auer HWA Mercedes 8.864s
10 Timo Glock RMR BMW 9.177s
11 Joel Eriksson RBM BMW 9.818s
12 Daniel Juncadella HWA Mercedes 10.404s
13 Bruno Spengler RBM BMW 13.709s
14 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 26.500s
15 Loic Duval Phoenix Audi 40.438s
16 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 43.370s
17 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 1m10.745s
- Robin Frijns Abt Audi Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Gary Paffett 148
2 Paul Di Resta 121
3 Timo Glock 101
4 Marco Wittmann 98
5 Edoardo Mortara 97
6 Lucas Auer 89
7 Philipp Eng 67
8 Pascal Wehrlein 65
9 Rene Rast 49
10 Bruno Spengler 43
11 Mike Rockenfeller 34
12 Nico Muller 29
13 Daniel Juncadella 27
14 Joel Eriksson 27
15 Robin Frijns 25
16 Augusto Farfus 22
17 Loic Duval 17
18 Jamie Green 11

Manufacturers' standings

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 547
2 BMW 358
3 Audi 165


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Series DTM
Drivers René Rast
Author Marcus Simmons
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