Open DTM title battle in Zolder -Everyone for himself, all for Audi

Open DTM title battle in Zolder -Everyone for himself, all for Audi

15.10.2020: • A motorsport thriller: Rast in points frenzy, Müller and Frijns have to react • Zolder, the second: penultimate power show of the Class 1 touring cars • Driver change at Audi: Duval out, Tréluyer in

•    A motorsport thriller: Rast in points frenzy, Müller and Frijns have to react

•    Zolder, the second: penultimate power show of the Class 1 touring cars

•    Driver change at Audi: Duval out, Tréluyer in



A thriller that is typical for the DTM, thanks to René Rast: at Zolder in Belgium, the battle for the title in Europe’s popular touring car race series is entering its decisive stage. At the same venue last weekend, the defending champion from the German city of Minden made a spectacular recovery with two victories. That enabled him to dramatically reduce the gap to points’ leader Nico Müller (SUI) from 47 to merely ten points.




As a result, Müller has to react, just like Robin Frijns (NED), third in the standings, when the DTM is racing at Zolder for the second time this weekend (16-18 October). However, BMW could very well get in the way: last weekend, the brand from Munich proved to be competitive with pole position for Timo Glock (GER) and a podium finish for Lucas Auer (AUT). On Saturday and Sunday, SAT.1 is broadcasting live from 13.00 hrs, all practice and qualifying sessions can be watched at ran.de and grid.dtm.com.



Points’ leader Müller under pressure in the final spurt



René Rast seems to be on a roll. Since the two DTM rounds at the Nürburgring, the 33-year-old from Audi Sport Team Rosberg has never been off the podium: first of all with three second places, then with one third place and most recently, he was on the top step twice. Especially at the 4.011 kilometres long track at Zolder, it was clear to see how well Rast is feeling in his Audi RS 5 DTM. Even a fire in the engine bay left the 2017 and 2019 DTM champion largely unfazed.



Müller and Frijns, meanwhile, had to take in considerable setbacks: Frijns even crashed at pit lane exit on cold tyres after his mandatory change. And that on his home track, no less, where the three-time race winner failed to score points for the first time this season. For Müller, just two points were in store after he lost a lot of time as a result of the safety car intervention, caused by nobody else but his teammate Frijns, and ended up only ninth.



Müller, who has been leading the drivers’ standings since the season opener at Spa-Francorchamps in early August, has five wins and 259 points to his name. Rast, a four-time race winner and nine times on the podium so far, has worked his way up to within ten points (249) while Frijns, with three wins and, on a par with Müller, ten podium results so far, dropped to third with 243 points.



It is Rast who currently has the psychological ‘momentum’, but all three of them probably need strong nerves in this thriller. Only Audi’s head of motorsport Dieter Gass can already sit back, relax and enjoy the season showdown together with the DTM fans. After the early win of the manufacturers’ title, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline has also sealed the teams’ crown already. It is also clear that the 2020 DTM champion will definitely be driving an Audi. Most probably, Zolder will not yet bring the final decision, this is likely to follow in the showdown at Hockenheim from 6-8 November.





Extra time in Belgium: four DTM aces to race in 24h Spa-Francorchamps



Like in September, when some drivers extended their stay in the Eifel following two DTM race weekends at the Nürburgring to participate in the 24h Nürburgring, Müller, Rast and Frijns as well as Philipp Eng (AUT, BMW) will also be adding another weekend in Belgium.



The DTM quartet will be participating in the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium). Both Rast (2012, 2014) and Eng (2016, 2018) already have won this GT3 classic twice.







» Quotes – preview, Zolder 2



“I am very confident going into the second weekend at Zolder, and not just because the first weekend in Belgium went well for me. First and foremost, I felt really well again in the car. Now, we are fully back in the hunt for the championship. Therefore, I am extra motivated to stage two good races again.”


René Rast, Audi Sport Team Rosberg

 

“I am already looking forward to the next round. We had a good weekend at Zolder. At Zolder, conditions are always changeable and that seems to suit our car. I am also feeling well in such conditions. Our position for the weekend is good. In any case, I am confident and curious what we can achieve on the second weekend at Zolder.”

Timo Glock, , BMW Team RMG





“My plan for the second Zolder weekend is to focus on my performance in Sunday qualifying last weekend and to keep up this form. When I manage to qualify on the first two rows of the grid and drive clean races, my goal of a maiden podium finish and therefore the maiden podium result for WRT in its home round can be within reach. That would be a dream coming true. I have the feeling that this is really getting within reach after last weekend.”

Ferdinand Habsburg, WRT Team Audi Sport






» The Circuit – Zolder 2


 
“A really cool, old-school racetrack with little run-off, gravel beds and high kerbs. The combination of slow and medium-fast corners is super.b”


Philipp Eng, BMW





» Wow fact – Zolder 2




    
179,410


... km/h is the average speed that Marco Wittmann (GER) achieved on his new lap record on the 4.011-kilometer Zolder racetrack in the Sunday race on October 11, 2020.



With the new lap record of 1.20.263 minutes, the BMW driver undercut the previous year's record of his BMW colleague Philipp Eng (AUT, 1.23.600) by 3.337 seconds. For comparison: Eng's record from 2019 at the Zolder comeback after 17 years was exactly 18.988 seconds faster than the old record from 2002.




ITR GmbH - photos DTM

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/dtm-open-title-battle-all-for-audi---214344.html

15.10.2020 / MaP

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