Moscow DTM: Mike Rockenfeller wins series' Russian debut

Mike Rockenfeller opened up a comfortable lead in the DTM title race by winning at Moscow Raceway while chief rival Bruno Spengler failed to score

Moscow DTM: Mike Rockenfeller wins series' Russian debut

Schnitzer BMW driver Spengler was spun out of eighth spot by Rockenfeller's Phoenix Audi team-mate Miguel Molina at Turn 1 on the fourth lap (pictured below).

While Molina retired soon after, Spengler fell to the tail of the field and could only nurse his damaged M3 to the finish in 19th.

Rockenfeller led until his first pitstop, which came after a 44-lap stint on the championship's soft 'option' tyres. He fell behind Mattias Ekstrom's Abt A5 for the net leadership of the race.

Ekstrom looked good for victory until midway into his second stint, when his pace slowed just enough to ensure that his Audi stablemate Rockenfeller would be back ahead following the final round of stops.

Rockenfeller's third career win gives him a 27-point series lead over Spengler with Gary Paffett 10 points further back.

Adrien Tambay ran longest of all during his first stint. His 56 laps on a single set of options gave him clear air for more than half of the race.

His reward was fourth at the chequered flag after the Abt driver had started 12th. He only just missed out on taking the final podium spot from second-row starter Augusto Farfus; the pair running side-by-side into Turn 1 with three laps left.

Gary Paffett was the best-placed Mercedes driver in fifth for HWA, the Brit having made one of the few on-track passing moves of the race on Jamie Green's Audi. The pair rubbed panels as Paffett went past into Turn 1 late on.

Joey Hand drove a fine race to seventh in his RBM BMW, one place ahead of Dirk Werner's Schnitzer M3. Timo Scheider and Christian Vietoris completed the top 10.

Edoardo Mortara failed to finish, the handling of his Audi out of sorts after early contact with Daniel Juncadella, Marco Wittmann and Martin Tomczyk.

Results - 74 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car            Time/Gap
 1.  Mike Rockenfeller   Phoenix Audi    1h14m38.512s
 2.  Mattias Ekstrom     Abt Audi             +1.303s
 3.  Augusto Farfus      RBM BMW             +11.393s
 4.  Adrien Tambay       Abt Audi            +12.275s
 5.  Gary Paffett        HWA Mercedes        +17.495s
 6.  Jamie Green         Abt Audi            +18.704s
 7.  Joey Hand           RBM BMW             +19.363s
 8.  Dirk Werner         Schnitzer BMW       +26.117s
 9.  Timo Scheider       Abt Audi            +34.184s
10.  Christian Vietoris  HWA Mercedes        +41.331s
11.  Pascal Wehrlein     Mucke Mercedes      +42.029s
12.  Robert Wickens      HWA Mercedes        +43.782s
13.  Filipe Albuquerque  Rosberg Audi        +44.443s
14.  Roberto Merhi       HWA Mercedes        +51.576s
15.  Marco Wittmann      MTEK BMW            +52.941s
16.  Timo Glock          MTEK BMW            +54.421s
17.  Martin Tomczyk      RMG BMW             +58.460s
18.  Daniel Juncadella   Mucke Mercedes        +1 lap
19.  Bruno Spengler      Schnitzer BMW         +1 lap
20.  Andy Priaulx        RMG BMW               +1 lap

Retirements:

     Edoardo Mortara     Rosberg Audi         31 laps
     Miguel Molina       Phoenix Audi          5 laps
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Moscow DTM: Mike Rockenfeller on pole after bizarre stoppage
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DTM championship leader Mike Rockenfeller not thinking of title yet

DTM championship leader Mike Rockenfeller not thinking of title yet
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