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DTM Nurburgring: Lucas Auer wins after Paul di Resta gives up lead

Lucas Auer was handed victory by Mercedes team-mate Paul di Resta at the end of a fascinating first DTM race of the Nurburgring weekend

Former Formula 1 driver Di Resta was leading with just over a lap to go when he slowed on the run to the final chicane and left the door wide open for Auer to take advantage.

With Auer the only Mercedes driver in the championship top eight, the move catapulted the Austrian straight back into title contention.

He now lies equal second with Audi's Rene Rast, and four points adrift of Audi veteran Mattias Ekstrom.

The race began on a track soaked by a heavy pre-race shower, with BMW man Augusto Farfus making a lightning getaway to vault immediately into second, and then spearing down the inside of polesitter Auer to take the lead before they even got to Turn 1.

Farfus built an advantage of over seven seconds, but Auer had chiselled the gap down to 6.2s before the Brazilian peeled into the pitlane.

Several drivers - including title contenders Marco Wittmann and Mike Rockenfeller - had already taken on slicks on the rapidly drying track after making relatively early mandatory pitstops.

Meanwhile, the slick-shod Audi of Nico Muller had just set fastest lap when Farfus entered the pitlane, indicating that the crossover point had passed.

But just as the Brazilian pitted, the rain came down came and Farfus was unable to even keep pace with the other slick runners, who had at least warmed up their Hankooks.

Ekstrom was in a similar position, pitting on the same lap as Farfus having reached sixth place before his stop.

Auer was now in front from Mercedes stablemates di Resta and Robert Wickens, and when he and Wickens pitted in unison they took on rain tyres.

Di Resta stayed out a couple of laps longer, and emerged in front of the sister cars, and then Auer dropped the ball by running wide at Turn 2, which cost him time and meant he had to repass the yet-to-stop Mercedes of Edoardo Mortara.

Once the late-stopping Maro Engel and Jamie Green gave up their respective brief tenures in the lead, it was di Resta from Auer and Wickens, before the Scot moved over in the closing stages.

Engel took fourth, with Rast - who appeared to struggle in the first stint but lucked in through a late stop - finishing as the top non-Mercedes in fifth, ahead of fellow Audi man Jamie Green.

Mortara claimed seventh, while Farfus - who made a second stop for wet-weather Hankooks - took a disappointed eighth.

The final points positions went to BMW star Wittmann - who also made a second stop for wets - and the brilliant Gary Paffett, whose slithering Mercedes was miles ahead of the other slick runners before they had to switch back to rain tyres, and who stayed out on the dry-weather rubber throughout after the sun came out once again.

Results

Pos Driver Car Laps Gap
1 Lucas Auer Mercedes 33 54m12.443s
2 Paul Di Resta Mercedes 33 0.794s
3 Robert Wickens Mercedes 33 1.568s
4 Maro Engel Mercedes 33 5.344s
5 Rene Rast Audi 33 9.758s
6 Jamie Green Audi 33 24.531s
7 Edoardo Mortara Mercedes 33 31.593s
8 Augusto Farfus BMW 33 49.335s
9 Marco Wittmann BMW 33 56.886s
10 Gary Paffett Mercedes 33 59.072s
11 Nico Muller Audi 33 1m01.058s
12 Timo Glock BMW 33 1m12.977s
13 Bruno Spengler BMW 33 1m27.191s
14 Mike Rockenfeller Audi 33 1m28.308s
15 Mattias Ekstrom Audi 32 1 Lap
16 Tom Blomqvist BMW 32 1 Lap
17 Maxime Martin BMW 32 1 Lap
18 Loic Duval Audi 32 1 Lap

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