Zolder DTM: Rene Rast wins race two for Audi

Audi's Rene Rast won the final race of the DTM Zolder weekend after rising above a chaotic battle for the podium places

Zolder DTM: Rene Rast wins race two for Audi

Rast, whose Saturday retirement was his second in three races, had to recover from a poor start in which Sheldon van der Linde kept pole position and race one winner Philipp Eng applied pressure on the Audi driver into the sweeping Turn 1 bend.

Eng's minor mistake at the second corner released Rast to hunt van der Linde over the first stint, and the 2017 champion constantly rotated between backing off and applying pressure as he managed his tyres.

The new Class One engine puts a greater level of wear on the Hankook tyre, which remains unchanged from the 2018 specification, with tyre degradation seen as key to aiding overtaking on the narrow Zolder circuit.

Going into Turn 1 on lap 11 of 39, Rast made it ahead of van der Linde before the BMW driver made his mandatory pitstop at the end of the tour.

Rast would come out on top in the pitstop battle but initially had to defend resolutely on cold tyres.

When the round of pitstops came to an end, Marco Wittmann hit the rear-left corner of Robin Frijns's Audi in the battle for third and spun his rival off track.

That necessitated a safety car period for five laps, with race control extending the race by five minutes-plus-one-lap to compensate, and Wittmann was hit with a drivethrough penalty for the incident.

Rast held on to his lead following the IndyCar-style restart, making a minor error at the first chicane along the way, but pulled clear to take his second victory of 2019.

Eng was second after a storming drive that included a stunning move down the hill at Butte on Frijns and at the restart the BMW driver was able to slide past van der Linde to go second.

The result means Eng now leads the championship after four races.

Jamie Green made the most of a two-stop strategy to rise through the field with fresh rubber and a dramatic final few laps sealed his podium place.

At the two-thirds distance, Green came out on top in a three-car pack through Turn 1 alongside BMW's Timo Glock and the R-Motorsport-run Aston Martin of Jake Dennis.

It took until the final lap for Green to finally overhaul van der Linde for third at Turn 4, with Mike Rockenfeller moving out the way to allow his team-mate trhough.

Rockenfeller then took fourth ahead of the BMW polesitter.

Dennis was an impressive sixth for R-Motorsport to give the Aston squad its best result of the 2019 season to date.

But Paul di Resta did not start after an oil pressure problem in qualifying while Ferdinand Habsburg and Dani Juncadella were forced to retire during the race, with the former down to a wishbone-related problem.

Bruno Spengler, Nico Muller, Pietro Fittipaldi and Joel Eriksson rounded out the top 10.

Eriksson played a part in a wild restart when both he and Loic Duval ran across the gravel at Turn 4, with the BMW driver recovering to register a point.

Marco Wittmann was the last of the classified finishers in 13th following his penalty, coming across the line after Duval and Jonathan Aberdein.

Glock was the last driver to retire, pulling into the pits one lap from the end with after damage to his steering.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Rene Rast Rosberg Audi 39 59m24.539s
2 Philipp Eng RMR BMW 39 9.845s
3 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 39 11.791s
4 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 39 12.601s
5 Sheldon van der Linde RBM BMW 39 13.195s
6 Jake Dennis R-Motorsport Aston Martin 39 19.825s
7 Bruno Spengler RMG BMW 39 20.468s
8 Nico Muller Abt Audi 39 21.563s
9 Pietro Fittipaldi WRT Audi 39 22.661s
10 Joel Eriksson RBM BMW 39 23.550s
11 Loic Duval Phoenix Audi 39 23.648s
12 Jonathan Aberdein WRT Audi 39 26.793s
13 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 39 39.780s
14 Timo Glock RMR BMW 38 1 Lap
- Daniel Juncadella R-Motorsport Aston Martin 27 Retirement
- Robin Frijns Abt Audi 21 Retirement
- Ferdinand Habsburg R-Motorsport Aston Martin 17 Retirement
- Paul Di Resta R-Motorsport Aston Martin 0 Not started

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Philipp Eng 59
2 Rene Rast 54
3 Marco Wittmann 43
4 Mike Rockenfeller 42
5 Nico Muller 41
6 Robin Frijns 31
7 Jamie Green 25
8 Bruno Spengler 24
9 Loic Duval 22
10 Sheldon van der Linde 21
11 Joel Eriksson 20
12 Timo Glock 20
13 Paul Di Resta 11
14 Jake Dennis 8
15 Pietro Fittipaldi 3
16 Ferdinand Habsburg 2
17 Daniel Juncadella 2
18 Jonathan Aberdein 0

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Series DTM
Drivers René Rast
Author Tom Errington
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