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