DTM: Double win for Audi in exciting weekend at Lausitzring > Audi Motorsport > Audi St. Lucia

DTM: Double win for Audi in exciting weekend at Lausitzring

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  • Sunday’s race at the Lausitzring ends with spectacular photo finish
  • Audi drivers separated by only 0.089 seconds
  • Fourth victory in a row for Nico Müller in DTM

Ingolstadt, August 17, 2020 – DTM thriller at the Lausitzring: In a spectacular Sunday’s race, title defender René Rast from Audi Sport Team Rosberg and championship leader Nico Müller from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline crossed the finish line side-by-side in their Audi RS 5 DTM cars. 0.089 seconds separated the two Audi drivers. The last time the DTM saw such a close finish was 24 years ago. After his double victory at the season opener at Spa, Nico Müller also won Saturday’s race at the Lausitzring.

Saturday Race: Audi driver Nico Müller also wins at the Lausitzring

Müller is the first driver ever to win the first three races of a DTM season. Across two seasons, the Swiss is unbeaten for as many as four races. “Today’s success is largely due to my team,” said Müller. “Because I was racing in the Formula E finale in Berlin, I wasn’t able to be part of the usual preparation for the race weekend. The guys did a mega job, explained to me what I’ve got to look out for here and gave me a fantastic car. I had a good start, was able to stay in front afterwards and bring the victory home. I’m very happy.”

After setting the fastest times in both free practice sessions on Friday, Müller started the first of the two races at the Lausitzring from second on the grid. The Swiss immediately took the lead at the start and was able to extend it to 7.5 seconds. “Then there was a slow zone and two lapped cars in front of me drove so slowly that I almost lost my entire advantage. Sheldon (van der Linde) was almost hanging on my bumper afterwards. Fortunately, I was able to pull away again,” said Müller, who also set the fastest lap of the race.

Teammate Robin Frijns secured pole position just like at the season opener at Spa. “I didn’t expect that because on Friday I was four tenths of a second behind Nico, but we worked hard overnight,” said the Dutchman. “When you finish on the podium you can never complain. The first ten laps I felt really comfortable. I was able to put pressure on Nico. But after ten laps my tires seemed to drop more than the others’. We have to change that for tomorrow."

Third best Audi driver was Ferdinand Habsburg from the customer team WRT Team Audi Sport in sixth place. The Austrian vehemently resisted René Rast’s attacks in the final stages. The DTM champion from Audi Sport Team Rosberg experienced a difficult Saturday. “I can’t remember having had such a tough day in the DTM over the past two or three years,” said Rast, who finished seventh. “We just have no pace here so far.”

Jamie Green (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) and DTM rookie Harrison Newey (WRT Team Audi Sport) scored points in positions eight and ten as well. Audi Sport Team Phoenix had a lot of bad luck. Loïc Duval scored one point for third place on the grid and fought for a podium in the race before the Frenchman retired with a transmission issue. A post-race 30-second time penalty was imposed on Mike Rockenfeller for exceeding the speed limit in the slow zone.

Sunday Race: Rast and Müller cross the finish line side-by-side

“The race was pretty entertaining,” said René Rast, who had to fight hard for his first victory of the season – especially against pole sitter Robin Frijns. The two brand mates clashed in the first corner after the start. “I had to drive through the grass in Turn 1, and also afterwards the fight with Robin was pretty hard. We pitted early to react to an undercut of Robin and Marco (Wittmann). I knew that Nico would come in the end on fresher tires. Our strategy was brave, and it got pretty tight, but fortunately it worked for us.”

Nico Müller didn’t get a perfect start from second on the grid. “There was more grip than I expected,” said the Swiss. “When René and Robin did some rallycrossing in front of me, I briefly had a clear view. But I came onto the outside line in Turn 3. As a result, also Marco Wittmann passed me, and I dropped back to fourth. After that it was hard work – but we managed the race pretty well.”

After a long first stint, Müller returned to the track in seventh, quickly making up position after position and, with the fresher tires, eventually chasing leader René Rast. “In the end, only a third of the car length was missing for victory,” said Müller. “Yesterday the race seemed to be an eternity – today I prayed that it would last one lap longer.”

Müller’s teammate Robin Frijns started from pole position for the third time in the fourth DTM race of the year. “I didn’t expect this before the season started,” said the Dutchman. “The qualifying performance is great, but we still need to work on our race pace.” After an early pit stop, Frijns was first passed by René Rast, later by Nico Müller and two laps before the end of the race also by Marco Wittmann.

Mike Rockenfeller from Audi Sport Team Phoenix was running right behind Nico Müller for a long time but hit traffic after his pit stop. From tenth, “Rocky” fought his way forward to fifth. Teammate Loïc Duval had no radio contact with his team during the entire race and finished eighth after hard battles. After finishing sixth the day before, Ferdinand Habsburg scored another point for the customer team WRT Team Audi Sport in tenth place. On Sunday, the Austrian impressed with fourth place in qualifying. Jamie Green suffered a similar fate to Loïc Duval on Saturday: the Briton suddenly was unable to shift gears after hard fights and had to stop his car.

“A race can hardly be more exciting,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “There were some very tough battles throughout the whole race and until the last lap it was not really obvious who would win. It was extremely tight between René and Nico. I’m happy that we managed to clinch another one-two victory and that we showed an extremely strong performance in qualifying as well with the top six positions on the grid. In the DTM you simply must never stop improving. I’m already looking forward to next weekend here.”

Next Saturday and Sunday (22/23 August), the DTM will contest two more races at the Lausitzring – then on the slightly longer track. Nico Müller leads the drivers’ standings after four of 18 scheduled races with 100 points ahead of René Rast (61) and Robin Frijns (58). Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is leading the teams’ championship with 158 points ahead of Audi Sport Team Rosberg (95) and Audi Sport Team Phoenix (58). The score in the manufacturers’ championship between Audi and BMW is 283:107.