In glorious Eifel sunshine, Dutch Audi driver Robin Frijns came home ahead of fellow Audi man René Rast to take victory in Saturday’s opening race on the shorter 3.629-kilometre version of the Grand Prix Circuit. “With three safety car phases, it was a nerve-racking race. I am pleased that I was able to finish just ahead of René on the Hankook race tyre,” said Frijns after his third win of the season. The fastest BMW was that of Marco Wittmann, who came home third to take his third podium of the season. Championship leader Nico Müller (Audi) was unlucky to drop to the back of the field following a spin that was not his fault. The Swiss then put all his eggs in one basket and came in for an early mandatory pit stop on lap nine, after which he battled his way back to fifth place during a long, 30-lap stint on the Hankook Ventus Race.
In contrast, Sunday was a perfect day for Müller. Starting from third, the 28-year-old gained one position at the start and passed pole-sitter Frijns on lap seven to take the lead. Müller then extended his lead to over eleven seconds and, after 41 laps of the Nürburgring, claimed his fifth victory of the season. “That feels good after the misfortune on Saturday. The car was outstanding, there were no issues with the Hankook race tyre, and I had a lot of fun out there,” said Nico Müller. Rast came home third behind Frijns to complete an all-Audi podium. The best-placed BMW driver was Sheldon van der Linde in fourth.
Next up for the DTM is Circuit Zolder. The double-header sees the Belgian circuit host races 13 to 16 of the season from 9th to 11th October and a week later from 16th to 18th October. The DTM finale will take place from 6th to 8th November in Hockenheim.
In the DTM Trophy, championship leader Tim Heinemann from Fichtenberg continues to dominate the new series. The Mercedes-Benz driver won both races over the sprint distance at the Nürburgring and, after his previous brace on the Grand Prix Circuit with the Hankook race tyre, has now made it six victories in a row. “Every weekend, we think the winning run must come to an end. But it just keeps going. The team, the car and the Hankook race tyre – everything is coming together perfectly at the moment,” said Heinemann. With a lead of 94 points over fellow Mercedes-Benz man Jan Kisiel (Poland) in the overall standings, Heinemann can wrap up the inaugural title in the DTM Trophy with races to spare at the next round in Zolder (16th to 18th October). Britain’s Ben Green (BMW) leads the Junior competition. He is followed 36 points back by Mercedes-Benz drivers Jan Philipp Springob from Germany and Spain’s Marc de Fulgencio, who are level on points.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “The spectators have witnessed high-class racing at the Nürburgring, both on the Grand Prix Circuit and on the shorter layout. Nico Müller and Robin Frijns were a little better than the rest in the Eifel Mountains, but it could be a totally different story in Zolder. BMW has closed the gap to Audi, with a podium and a fourth place. The Hankook race tyre was a strong and reliable partner for all the drivers on both outings at the Nürburgring. In the DTM Trophy, Tim Heinemann is on an incredible run. Six wins and two runner-up finishes in eight races. It doesn’t get much better than that. All the indications are that the Mercedes-Benz driver will be crowned the first DTM Trophy champion in Zolder.”
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