Misano/Italy, 26th August 2018 – Following rainfall during qualifying, the track was still damp in places at 22:30 on Saturday, as the cars in arguably the most popular international touring car series took their place for the first night race in the history of the series. As such, the majority of the 18 DTM drivers, together with guest starter Alessandro Zanardi (BMW), opted for the wet tyres provided by premium tyre maker Hankook. However, all the drivers subsequently used the mandatory pit stop to switch to the slick supplied by the exclusive DTM tyre partner.
Pole-sitter Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) held onto his lead at the start and continued to control the field after his tyre change on lap six. The Scot was overtaken by Philipp Eng (BMW) at the restart following a safety car phase, but was soon able to regain his position at the head of the field. After 32 laps of racing, Di Resta was first across the finish line to claim his eleventh victory in the DTM. Audi driver Robin Frijns, who had started the race from twelfth on the grid, produced a spectacular overtaking manoeuvre shortly before the finish to take second place and the first podium result of his DTM career. Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-Benz), second in qualifying, came home third. The best-placed BMW driver was Timo Glock in seventh, while guest starter Alessandro Zanardi finished race 13 of the season in 13th place.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “That was a great night-time first in the DTM. We witnessed hard but fair battles and a number of collisions, but that was to be expected in these difficult conditions. The Hankook wet tyres and slicks offered the drivers optimal support, thus ensuring that the fans in Misano were treated to thrilling motorsport of the highest quality.”
Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz): “After qualifying, when it rained heavily, the race conditions on a drying track were very tough. The Hankook wet tyre did a good job, allowing me not only to win the first night race in the DTM, but also to close the gap to Gary in the Drivers’ Championship.”
Robin Frijns (Audi): “Like most of the drivers, we started on wet tyres and switched to the Hankook slick on lap six. It had a lot of grip, although the track was still wet in places. That gave me a lot of confidence. I think I had the fastest car at the end, which is why I was able to overtake Edoardo on the final lap.”
Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-Benz): “The first night race in Misano was fun. The Hankook race tyre provided an incredible amount of grip, both on the damp and the dry sections of the track. As it was cooler at night, we were able to push harder without the tyre degrading. It all ran smoothly.”