Rockenfeller wins DTM's Moscow debut

Rockenfeller wins DTM's Moscow debut


Rockenfeller wins DTM's Moscow debut


Mike Rockenfeller opened up a comfortable lead in the DTM title race by winning at Moscow Raceway while chief rival Bruno Spengler failed to score.

Schnitzer BMW driver Spengler was spun out of eighth spot by Rockenfeller’s Phoenix Audi teammate Miguel Molina at Turn 1 on the fourth lap. While Molina retired soon after, Spengler fell to the tail of the field and could only nurse his damaged M3 to the finish in 19th.

Rockenfeller led until his first pit stop, which came after a 44-lap stint on the championship’s soft “option” tires. He fell behind Mattias Ekstrom’s Abt A5 for the net leadership of the race.

Ekstrom looked good for victory until midway into his second stint, when his pace slowed just enough to ensure that his Audi stablemate Rockenfeller would be back ahead following the final round of stops. Rockenfeller’s third career win gives him a 27-point series lead over Spengler with Gary Paffett 10 points further back.

Adrien Tambay ran longest of all during his first stint. His 56 laps on a single set of options gave him clear air for more than half of the race. His reward was fourth at the checkered flag after the Abt driver had started 12th. He only just missed out on taking the final podium spot from second-row starter Augusto Farfus; the pair running side by side into Turn 1 with three laps left.

Gary Paffett was the best-placed Mercedes driver in fifth for HWA, the Brit having made one of the few on-track passing moves of the race on Jamie Green’s Audi. The pair rubbed panels as Paffett went past into Turn 1 late in the race.

Joey Hand drove a fine race to seventh in his RBM BMW, one place ahead of Dirk Werner’s Schnitzer M3. Timo Scheider and Christian Vietoris completed the top 10.

Edoardo Mortara failed to finish, the handling of his Audi out of sorts after early contact with Daniel Juncadella, Marco Wittmann and Martin Tomczyk.

Results - 74 laps:Pos  Driver              Team/Car            Time/Gap 1.  Mike Rockenfeller   Phoenix Audi    1h14m38.512s 2.  Mattias Ekstrom     Abt Audi             +1.303s 3.  Augusto Farfus      RBM BMW             +11.393s 4.  Adrien Tambay       Abt Audi            +12.275s 5.  Gary Paffett        HWA Mercedes        +17.495s 6.  Jamie Green         Abt Audi            +18.704s 7.  Joey Hand           RBM BMW             +19.363s 8.  Dirk Werner         Schnitzer BMW       +26.117s 9.  Timo Scheider       Abt Audi            +34.184s10.  Christian Vietoris  HWA Mercedes        +41.331s11.  Pascal Wehrlein     Mucke Mercedes      +42.029s12.  Robert Wickens      HWA Mercedes        +43.782s13.  Filipe Albuquerque  Rosberg Audi        +44.443s14.  Roberto Merhi       HWA Mercedes        +51.576s15.  Marco Wittmann      MTEK BMW            +52.941s16.  Timo Glock          MTEK BMW            +54.421s17.  Martin Tomczyk      RMG BMW             +58.460s18.  Daniel Juncadella   Mucke Mercedes        +1 lap19.  Bruno Spengler      Schnitzer BMW         +1 lap20.  Andy Priaulx        RMG BMW               +1 lapRetirements:     Edoardo Mortara     Rosberg Audi         31 laps     Miguel Molina       Phoenix Audi          5 laps