The first win for BMW after one year and 13 days: Lucas Auer (AUT) and Timo Glock (GER) even made it a 1-2 for BMW in the sixth DTM race of the season at Lausitzring. The best-placed Audi driver, Robin Frijns (NED) finished in third place. Thus, a winning streak of twelve consecutive victories for the Ingolstadt-based brand came to an end. The last driver to date to score a DTM race win for the brand from Munich was two-time champion Marco Wittmann (GER) at Brands Hatch in the UK on 10th August, 2019. Thrilling duels, tactics and strategy as well as position fights until the finish marked the fourth race in the Lausitz region to conclude the first-ever DTM double header throughout the race distance.
Robin Frijns, who had been on pole position for the fourth time in the season’s six races so far, got his race off to a promising start. The Dutchman had a perfect getaway and initially defended his lead. Behind him, René Rast (GER) overtook Nico Müller (SUI) for second place. Further down, South African Sheldon van der Linde caused a heart-stopping moment as his BMW initially stalled, but all other drivers managed to avoid the obstacle.
After a few laps already, Rast overtook his fellow Audi driver Frijns, but the defending champion’s lead wasn’t to last long either. Frijns came to the fore again, but then lost his lead to Jamie Green (GBR, Audi), until BMW eventually took control. For a long time, ex-Formula 1 driver Timo Glock looked set for victory, but on the penultimate lap, he had to let his fellow BMW driver Lucas Auer past. Gerhard Berger’s nephew scored his fifth DTM career win and his third at Lausitzring. Glock was by no means disappointed by just having missed out on victory: he was pleased with BMW’s strong comeback instead. Behind Frijns and Green in third and fourth place, points’ leader Müller and defending champion Rast were fifth and sixth across the finish line, the two title rivals separated by merely 0.011 seconds.
Pit stop strategy decides
Unlike the previous day, as the race got underway on a wet track, the race on Sunday was held on dry asphalt and in considerably cooler temperatures than on the days before. In the race, the pit stop strategy again played a decisive role as nobody knew exactly how long the Hankook control slick tyres would last in the new conditions. On lap ten, Glock was the first one from the group of the frontrunners to come in for his mandatory stop while Frijns, Rast and Müller stayed out on track until lap 18.
Prior to the DTM’s fourth season round at Assen in The Netherlands (4th–6th September) where, according to the current situation, spectators will be admitted again for the first time this season, Müller retains his commanding lead in the drivers’ standings. The Swiss has 133 points to his tally, Rast is following in second place (97) from Frijns (92). With 52 points, Timo Glock has moved up into fourth as the best-placed BMW driver.
Quotes – race 2, Lausitzring Grand Prix
Gerhard Berger, Chairman ITR: “The race weekend at Lausitzring was an overall success for the DTM. As a result of the sensational performance by BMW, the battle for the championship is now fully open again. Fans in front of the TV screens got to see motorsport at its best with thrilling wheel-to-wheel battles and plenty of excitement until the final lap. Therefore, I feel sorry even more for the fact that no spectators could be on-site for this perfect DTM weekend. The TV viewing figures on SAT.1 that have reached a new record level clearly show how big the excitement for the race series is. The Germans simply are real DTM fans. Personally, I am also very delighted that my nephew Lucas Auer has driven a fantastic race and finally was able to show his talent and his speed again.”
Lucas Auer, BMW, winner: “Unbelievable! I am still lost for words. Once again, Lausitzring has been very kind to me. I am a little bit proud of this victory indeed. The race probably was the most intense race I have ever driven in the DTM: one mistake and you don’t finish third, but you end up seventh. I was able to manage the tyres really well; the strategy, the pit stop and the car were absolutely top. On the final lap, I was able to benefit from that. Actually, it couldn’t have been any better.”
Timo Glock, BMW, 2nd place: “Today, we have won the race for BMW together. On Friday, we have already seen during our long runs that we were able to put Audi under pressure. And we knew from the race on Saturday that Audi was struggling with the tyres. I made my stop early and managed my tyres really well. Once I was in the lead, I knew that I had to pull a slight gap. While doing so, I ran over a piece of rubber with one of the front wheels and ruined my tyre with that. I considered whether I should fight for victory, but then I looked at the overall picture and did’t make life too hard for Lucas as he overtook me. That was the right decision.”
Robin Frijns, Audi, 3rd place: “It was a crazy race. I started from pole position and initially, my pace was okay, with René Rast and Nico Müller behind me. We made our pit stop at a late stage and then I was well behind in the train in seventh place. Initially, that left me unable to use the benefit of the fresh tyres. At the end, I had more DRS available and I was able to work my way up to third. That was all I could do today. Now, I have a good feeling coming to my home round at Assen in a fortnight.”
Results – race 2, Lausitzring Grand Prix
Lucas Auer (AUT), BMW M4 DTM, 34 laps in 57 minutes 22,467 seconds
Timo Glock (GER), BMW M4 DTM, + 1,210 seconds
Robin Frijns (NED), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 1,775 secondss
Jamie Green (GBR), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 1,977 seconds
Nico Müller (SUI), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 2,464 seconds
René Rast (GER), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 2,475 seconds
Jonathan Aberdein (RSA), BMW M4 DTM, + 3,236 seconds
Loïc Duval (FRA), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 4,096 seconds
Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW M4 DTM, + 4,205 seconds
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), BMW M4 DTM, + 9,090 seconds
Fastest lap: Jamie Green (GBR), Audi RS 5 DTM, 1 minute 38,438 seconds
Pole Position: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi RS 5 DTM, 1 minute 36,344 seconds
Weather: 25°C, cloudy
Track: 32°C, dry
A strategic masterpiece: Rast claims second consecutive win.
The defending champion is continuing his recovery: Audi driver René Rast (GER) has won the fifth race of the DTM season at the 4.570 kilometres long Lausitzring Grand Prix circuit. It was a highly entertaining race marked by multiple lead changes and hard position fights on the drying asphalt. Fellow Audi driver Nico Müller (SUI), who had come out on top in qualifying, a mere 38 thousandths of a second ahead of Rast and secured his first pole position of the season as a result, eventually had to make do with second place. Robin Frijns (NED), who had been leading the race for a long time after a good start, rounded out the podium on the opening day of racing of the second DTM weekend in the Lausitz region. Timo Glock, meanwhile, put in a good performance. After an error in qualifying, he worked his way up from 14th on the grid to finish fourth as the best-placed BMW driver in the race.
Prior to the sixth race of the season (Sunday live on SAT.1 from 13.00 hrs), Nico Müller remains in the lead of the drivers’ standings (121 points). With his second consecutive win, Rast has reduced the gap to 33 points.
Frijns with a good start, Müller’s pit stop strategy not quite optimal
For some drivers, the start with rain tyres wasn’t optimal: Rast lost positions while Audi driver Frijns found the proverbial ‘golden mean’ and immediately moved up into second behind Müller, who was initially able to maintain his lead. With the mandatory pit stops, during which all drivers had their rain tyres replaced by slicks, the situation changed as Müller’s Abt team had waited too long. Opponents Robin Frijns, Philipp Eng (AUT, BMW), and Marco Wittmann (GER, BMW) had already made their stops two laps earlier, Rast one lap earlier – that spiced up the battle at the front of the field. Müller, who initially held on to the lead after his stop, was at a disadvantage on cold tyres and soon after that was overtaken by Frijns and then also by Eng. Later on, Rast overtook the Swiss as well, the latter then only fifth. Robin Frijns tried to keep a charging René Rast at bay, but even his defensive line was to no avail: Rast was the fastest driver in the field and had no trouble getting past at the end of the main straight.
Müller’s tyres having reached their working temperature, his pace was good again, enabling the points’ leader to make up another three positions to finish second behind his perpetual rival Rast.
Quotes – race 1, Lausitzring Grand Prix
René Rast, Audi, winner: “What a crazy race! I started on rain tyres, then changed to slicks, briefly ran through the gravel trap, made a good comeback and eventually won. Of course, I am happy with the result, no doubt about it. However, we can’t be 100 percent satisfied, we still have to keep working on our performance and improve the handling of the car. It is a bit of a roller coaster, the season is still fresh and the opposition remains strong.”
Nico Müller, Audi, 2nd place: “My start was okay, but obviously not as strong as Robin Frijns’s start, who was on the boot lid of my car straight away. Then, our stop was at least one lap too late. I was surprised how quickly my rivals got their tyres to the right temperature. We are in a situation in which you can’t identify a tendency at all. I am expecting many more thrilling position fights and the BMWs have shown strong performances today as well.”
Robin Frijns, Audi, 3rd place: “Of course, I am disappointed for not having been able to win the race. Our start was super, but in the closing stages, the tyres degraded too quickly. I was just lacking the necessary grip to stay up front. Now, I don’t have the right solution for the race on Sunday either, I just hope to survive the Lausitzring in a good way. Perhaps, chances to score my maiden DTM victory are better in my home race at Assen in a fortnight.”
Results – race 1, Lausitzring Grand Prix
René Rast (GER), Audi RS 5 DTM, 32 laps in 57 minutes 50,862 seconds
Nico Müller (GER), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 1,969 seconds
Robin Frijns (NED), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 4,922 seconds
Timo Glock (GER), BMW M4 DTM, + 7,590 seconds
Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW M4 DTM, + 13,282 seconds
Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 19,371 seconds
Loïc Duval (FRA), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 20,273 seconds
Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW M4 DTM, + 21,829 seconds
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), BMW M4 DTM, + 22,665 seconds
Jamie Green (GBR), Audi RS 5 DTM, + 25,389 seconds
Fastest lap: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi RS 5 DTM, 1 minute 38,418 seconds
Pole Position: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi RS 5 DTM, 1 minute 157,822 seconds
Weather: 24°C, cloudy
Track: 22°C, drying