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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Series DTM
Drivers Mike Rockenfeller
Author Jamie O'Leary
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