Paul Di Resta unexpectedly wins DTM race 1 in Hungary
Paul Di Resta a bit surprisingly won the DTM race 1 at Hungaroring what is first win of the season for the British driver of Mercedes-AMG. Starting from the back of the grid, he profited from the good strategy and triumphed beating all the odds.
For the first time in his DTM career, Rene Rast won the pole position. The 30-year-old Audi driver also won the first pole position for the Ingolstadters in 2017. Nevertheless, Audi drivers dominated in qualifying as the occupied top 5 starting places. Jamie Green started from P2 while Mattias Ekstrom, Nico Muller and Mike Rockenfeller were behind him. Augusto Farfus was the fastest BMW driver in sixth place and the current DTM leader Lucas Auer ended up eighth as the fastest Mercedes driver.
Right from the start we could see this will be a quite interesting race in which tactics can play an important role after the Hungaroring doesn’t offer too many opportunities for overtaking. Ekstrom overtook Green who went wide at Turn 1, Rockenfeller progressed to the 4th position while Farfus and Auer moved up to the 5th and 7th respectively.
The gaps on the top of the grid were small and became even smaller after the safety car was deployed on lap 9 after Maxime Martin’s BMW stopped on the track. When the race was restarted, Ekstrom took the lead after brilliant maneuver but behind them Auer and Farfus dropped to the back of the grid after an accident with Loic Duval and Nico Muller. However, Audi held the top 5 places after Duval progressed to the 5th position.
Interestingly, most of the top 5 Audis decided to pit relatively late and it looked like a pretty bad decision. After all cars completed a mandatory pit stop, Paul Di Resta in Mercedes was the race leader with the BMWs of Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler behind him. With 17 minutes to go, it was a disastrous situation for Audi. The best of ’Four Rings’ at that moment was Rockenfeller in the 5th position.
Former champion Di Resta, who started from P13, was calm and confident in the final stage of the race and scored his 8th DTM victory and first in 2017. Glock finished 2nd, 1.3s behind the winner, while Spengler completed the podium after starting from the 17th position and after resisting Rockenfeller’s attacks in the last two laps.
The start of the DTM race 2 at Hungaroring is on Sunday 15:18 CET.