MOTORSPORT NEWS Track Racing

Sheldon van der Linde claims his maiden DTM victory in restarted Assen race

The forecasted rain arrived to Assen for the second race, with heavy rain falling over the track. The race directors delayed the start by ten minutes due to the amount of standing water on the track, with the race duration left unchanged.

BMW Team RMR broke the parc fermé for Lucas Auer who had qualified last and started the race from the pit lane.

After two laps behind the safety car, the pack proceeded to the grid for a standing start. Pole sitter René Rast (Team Rosberg) was slow off the grid, with Team Phoenix’s Loïc Duval taking the lead followed by Team Abt Sportsline’s Robin Frijns and Rast.

WRT’s Ferdinand Habsburg also made a good start, climbing up to fourth place from seventh on the grid.

ART Grand Prix driver Robert Kubica was the first driver to pit, changing to a new set of wet tyres at the end of lap six. The Polish driver was instructed to go to the end of the race, despite the rain having stopped and a faint dry line started to appear on the track.

Frijns closed the gap to Duval, coming within half a second from the Frenchman on lap nine. Frijns managed to get past Duval for the lead at Turn 1 on lap eleven.

Müller then went past Habsburg for fourth place as Rast had caught up with Duval, trying to overtake the Team Phoenix driver as his pace was dropping and Müller was reducing the distance to the pair.

Rast overtook Duval for second place at Turn 1 on lap 14. Müller forced his way past on the inside of Duval at Turn 1 a lap later, with the Frenchman going wide and also losing a position to Glock.

Duval pitted at the end of lap 16, with the Team Phoenix mechanics mounting wet tyres again. Duval complained over the radio that the track was drying and that he had wanted slicks.

Müller and Glock overtook Rast at the same point on lap 18, as Duval’s team-mate, Mike Rockenfeller, changed to slick tyres.

Meanwhile, Glock was trying to get past Müller, as the BMW driver lapped faster than the Audi driver. Glock finally went through at Turn 1 on lap 20, taking second place but was a full eleven seconds behind Frijns.

Müller pitted at the end of lap 21 to mount wet weather tyres, as it started to rain again over Turn 10 and 11. Rockenfeller, who had mounted slicks, came in again for wet tyres, as Frijns pitted from the lead at the end of lap 22, with Rast also following suit.

The late stop proved fatal for both, as Frijns returned to the track in second place behind van der Linde and Rast fell behind Duval.

WRT driver Fabio Scherer was on slick tyres in the slippery conditions and went off to hit the barriers on lap 23, with the safety car called into action. The race was red flagged after a lap behind the safety car, with the cars stopping on the grid.

The race was restarted with 11:07 left on the clock.

Van der Linde maintained his lead as the race resumed, followed by Frijns and Müller, while Rast overtook Glock for fifth place.

Van der Linde kept his M4 DTM on track in the difficult conditions to take his maiden DTM victory, with Frijns and Müller completing the podium.

Duval was fourth after fending off Rast’s attacks until the finishing line, with Glock in sixth place, followed by Habsburg and Wittmann. BMW drivers Philipp Eng (Team RBM) and Lucas Auer (Team RMR) completed the top ten.

Müller leads the championship with 164 points, 26 ahead of Frijns and 44 ahead of Rast. The next round of the DTM takes place next weekend at the Nürburgring.

Top 10 Scoreboard

#DriverCountryManufacturerTime
01Sheldon van der LindeflagBMW31 Laps
02Robin FrijnsflagAudi+2.621
03Nico MüllerflagAudi+3.658
04Loïc DuvalflagAudi+9.414
05René RastflagAudi+9.455
06Timo GlockflagBMW+9.870
07Ferdinand HabsburgflagAudi+11.048
08Marco WittmannflagBMW+11.666
09Philipp EngflagBMW+12.436
10Lucas AuerflagBMW+13.033