Spielberg/Austria, 24th September 2017 – Jamie Green (Audi) started Sunday’s 16th DTM race of the season from pole position at the Red Bull Ring. Right from the start, he set about consistently opening a lead over the rest of the field. The Brit came in for a new set of Hankook dry tyres on lap twelve, and continued to dominate the race after a safety car phase. He then suffered gearbox problems just two laps from the finish, and plummeted down the field into 14th place. René Rast took full advantage of the opportunity to secure the third DTM win of his career.
Rast was followed over the finish line by fellow Audi drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Müller to complete a one-two-three for the Ingolstadt-based carmaker. Fourth place went to the top Mercedes-Benz driver, Gary Paffett. The 36-year-old started the race from sixth place and came in for a relatively early tyre change on lap ten. He then worked his way through the field on the fresh set of Hankook dry tyres to finish fourth and narrowly miss out on his second podium of the season.
Fifth place was enough for championship leader Mattias Ekström (Audi) to maintain his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. He takes a 21-point lead over René Rast into the final race weekend in Hockenheim, where he is the hot favourite to win his third DTM title. Reigning champion Marco Wittmann was the fastest BMW driver in sixth place. He now trails Ekström by 38 points and will have all on to defend his title with just two races remaining. Local favourite Lucas Auer endured a miserable day. The Mercedes-Benz driver had to retire from the race following a collision and drops to sixth place in the overall standings.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “That was unlucky for Jamie Green, who drove a great race. But that is motorsport – anything can happen, right down to the finish. The spectators at the Red Bull Ring really got their money’s worth again – thanks partly to the fact that the Hankook race tyre once again offered all the drivers a consistently high level of grip right through to the end of the race. Fans can look forward to a thrilling finale in Hockenheim, with Mattias Ekström in pole position in the title race.”
The BWT Mercedes-AMG Motorsport team completed the fastest pit stop at the Red Bull Ring, in a time of 31.276 seconds. They are rewarded for their efforts with 25 points towards the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award. The winning crew also receives three crates of beer at the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring.
René Rast (Audi): “I feel sorry for Jamie, he actually deserved to win. My car was very fast, as was the Hankook race tyre. It held up right through to the end of the race, and allowed me to claim my third DTM victory on it.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi): “If you drive too close to the back of another car here at the Red Bull Ring, you lose downforce, which increases tyre wear. That was the case for me at the start. When I then had a clear track, everything was perfect. The Hankook tyre was very good in the second stint, although the large amount of tyre debris next to the track showed that the dry tyre was under a lot of strain. Despite this, it was very quick and consistent.”
Nico Müller (Audi): “We did not want to drive any long stints here, as the track in Spielberg is quite unique, with just two left turns. As such, we placed great importance on tyre management and were the strongest on the Hankook race tyre over the full race distance.”
Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz): “The front tyres are really put through their paces in Spielberg. However, we learned our lesson on Saturday and, despite stopping early on lap ten, managed the Hankook dry tyre very well. I also benefitted from the safety car phase. After that, the Hankook tyre was very good and I was able to fight my way into fourth place.”