Moscow/Russia, 22nd July 2017 – René Rast (Audi) had completed Saturday morning's qualifying session in second place, but started the opening race of the DTM race weekend in first position at the Moscow Raceway. Marco Wittmann was fastest in qualifying but was demoted by five places after receiving his third warning at the Norisring.
DTM newcomer Rast defended his lead from the start and was one of the last drivers to head to the pits for a tyre change, on lap 15. The Audi driver managed the new set of Hankook tyres excellently throughout the remaining 23 laps on the technically challenging circuit and celebrated both his second DTM win and the lead in the overall standings.
Claiming second place felt almost like a win for Mike Rockenfeller, as the Audi driver had to struggle with a broken foot suffered in his accident at the Norisring. The 33-year-old went for new Hankook dry-weather tyres one lap before René Rast but was unable to seriously challenge his brand team-mate.
Marco Wittmann (BMW) was intent on damage limitation after his five-place demotion. He started from sixth on the grid and improved to finish in third position. The current DTM champion applied plenty of pressure after his pit stop on the twelfth lap, securing the final podium position after some skilful overtaking manoeuvres. Robert Wickens was the best Mercedes-Benz driver, in fourth place. His brand team-mate Lucas Auer stayed in second place overall after finishing sixth, while Mattias Ekström (Audi) is in third.
“The Hankook race tyre delivered another top performance on the smooth asphalt of the Moscow Raceway, and was convincing from start to finish. The drivers can do a long first or second stint and the Ventus Race can support whatever strategy they choose. Congratulations to René Rast, who has returned to the top of the drivers’ standings with this win. Great respect to Mike Rockenfeller as well, who reached the podium here despite suffering a broken foot,” says Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe.
René Rast (Audi): “The Hankook race tyre lasted well and was easy to manage in both stints. I had plenty of grip for the whole race and the very fast car allowed me to defend my lead.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi): “I had no problems at all with the Hankook tyres and I was very pleased with them. There was a lot of pickup on the track and it was important not to drive through it. That was the key to this race.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW): “The Hankook race tyres were very good, particularly in the second stint. I was able to manage them and I was still very fast at the end, which mean that I could push on to attack and overtake Robert. It was a very good race with the Hankook tyre from my point of view.”
Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz): “We had a perfect race strategy, which meant that I nearly made it to the podium after starting in eleventh place. It was a shame that Marco overtook me just before the end of the race, but the Hankook tyres performed well.”