After nine of the 18 races scheduled, the defender of the title – Audi – clearly leads all three championships in the touring car racing series. Championship leader Nico Müller of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline had a perfect Saturday in the first of four DTM races at the Nürburgring.
With his fourth victory of the season, the Swiss extended his lead in the drivers' championship with 43 points. The best BMW driver is already 124 points behind after nine races. In the team standings, the three Audi Sport teams (Abt Sportsline, Rosberg and Phoenix) retained their top three places. In the constructors' championship, the score between Audi and BMW at the halfway point of the season is 614 against 275.
"Perfect days like today are rare in DTM"Nico Müller said after his dominant victory in Saturday's race at the Nürburgring. After setting the fastest time in free practice on Friday, the Audi driver got pole position by 0.221 seconds, which is a big deviation from DTM standards. During the race, the Swiss rider continued to distance himself from his rivals and finally crossed the finish line with a 15.655 second lead. His fastest lap was half a second ahead of anyone else. "Today everything just worked for us", said Müller. “My Audi was at the top. The team made a quick pit stop again. The strategy was perfect and I managed my tires well in the very long second stint. Today we can just be happy. Thanks to Audi and the ABT team. "
Behind Nico Müller, title holder René Rast of Audi Sport Team Rosberg crossed the finish line. "A second place is not a bad result", said the two-time DTM champion. “However, the gap with Nico was huge. Right now he's just piloting in a different league. He was already flying yesterday. Today he was quick in qualifying and also in the race. At one point, he just disappeared. Rather, I had to fight with Robin (Frijns). Fortunately, he did an about-face when he tried to pass me. "
Frijns fell from third to fifth place due to his spin. "My offense may have sounded a little upbeat and spectacular on TV, but I've done similar passing maneuvers before"said Frijns, who for a brief moment has literally become a 'Flying Dutchman'. “Before the pit stop I was able to pass René, but I was behind him again after the stop. When I attacked him he defended well and I was forced to take the vibrators. As a result, I was briefly in the air with all four wheels and turned. "
Mike Rockenfeller of Audi Sport Team Phoenix took advantage of the Dutchman’s figure. Fourth place in his home race still hasn't made "Rocky" happy. "The gap to the top is just too big and we're not getting close", said Rockenfeller. “We tried to get in a good position today with an early stop, but my tires fell too much and that meant I couldn't really defend myself at the end. "
His teammate Loïc Duval was classified ninth after a penalty of 10 seconds. The Frenchman accidentally crossed the white line at the pit entrance during his pit stop. Jamie Green was 13th, scoring no points. The Briton punctured his tires heavily on the eventful first lap and had to change tires after just six laps. The drivers of customer team WRT Team Audi Sport also missed points on Saturday.
"It was an incredible first half of the season for Audi", said Dieter Gass, head of Audi Motorsport. “We won most of the races fairly dominantly. Nico was exceptional today, also compared to other Audi drivers. He put himself in a very good position for the rest of the championship. I'm already looking forward to the second half of the season. "
Audi has won seven of the nine races in the 2020 DTM season so far and has 21 of the 27 possible podiums. They've won triumphs five times three times, twice they've had two braces and even a treble. Audi is unbeaten in qualifying in 2020 and has already claimed its 16th consecutive pole position in two seasons. All additional qualifying points so far have been scored by four Audi drivers: Frijns (19), Müller (16), Rast (13) and Duval (6). For the fastest race laps, the score is 8 to 1 between Audi and BMW.
The second half of the DTM season begins on Sunday. Next weekend, two more races will take place at the Nürburgring, which will take place on the shorter sprint circuit.