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Hockenheim DTM: Muller wins disrupted finale, SUPER GT cars at back

Nico Muller Audi Hockenheim DTM 2019

Nico Muller ended the DTM season with victory in torrential conditions at Hockenheim after bizarre early scenes that included an Aston Martin catching fire and a SUPER GT car crashing.

Muller held onto his lead at the start and was given an immediate boost as a five-car battle for second place instantly erupted between the fast-starters of Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Wittmann, as well as Rene Rast, Jamie Green and Timo Glock.

But the duel came to an end almost instantly when the R-Motorsport Aston Martin of Daniel Juncadella pulled off the track and then caught alight. The safety team was called to put out the fire under red-flag conditions.

Daniel Juncadella R-Motorsport Aston retires Hockenheim DTM 2019

That came after Juncadella's team-mate Paul di Resta had already retired on the formation lap due to an engine problem during a weekend in which R-Motorsport has been blighted by reliability problems.

Just before the red flag, Nick Cassidy had a spin into the wall through the Turns 7-9 complex after lightly tagging the side of WRT Audi's Jonathan Aberdein.

Cassidy had previously crashed the TOM'S Lexus during Friday's practice, limiting his track time as the SUPER GT runners acclimatise to the DTM's format before their main joint event at Fuji next month.

Once the race resumed, Muller held onto his lead but came under fire from Rast - the victor of the earlier five-car battle - and the 2019 DTM champion took the lead from his former title rival after Muller initially defended resolutely at the hairpin.

Muller opted to make his mandatory pitstop on the sixth lap of 27 and Rast followed a lap later, with the Audi Rosberg driver enjoying a quicker pitstop.

Rast held the lead but lost it shortly after when he ran wide on the exit of the Turn 10 right-hander, allowing Muller past to cruise to victory.

Muller's status as winner took until the final lap to be confirmed as Audi's Jamie Green and BMW's Joel Eriksson ran until the penultimate lap before making their pitstops.

Rast would not finish second, however, as Rockenfeller had passed his Audi stablemate not long after Muller's eventual race-winning move.

BMW's Glock managed to hold off Green once the Audi driver returned to the track to take fourth, with Eriksson's identical strategy leaving him sixth.

Robin Frijns took his Abt Audi to seventh ahead of the highest-placed Aston Martin of Jake Dennis as Bruno Spengler and Loic Duval rounded out the top 10.

Wittmann had looked set to challenge for a podium finish but an unsafe release earned him a drivethrough penalty that meant he could only finish 12th.

His stablemate Philipp Eng and WRT Audi's Pietro Fittipaldi also earned drivethrough penalties, but their offences were failing to respect the three-minute rule under red flag conditions, which related to the tyres being fitted and the cars not being on their jacks three minutes before a race restart.

The 2009 Formula 1 world champion, Jenson Button, had warned on Saturday that wet conditions would not suit the SUPER GT cars.

His prediction proved accurate, as he finished a muted 16th place, but his Honda crew did significantly improve their pitstop after Saturday's delay.

The NISMO-run Nissan of Ronnie Quintarelli was 17th, having made a stop under the early safety car that meant he had to make his mandatory stop later in the race.

Race two result

1Nico MullerAbtAudi271h04m45.023s
2Mike RockenfellerPhoenixAudi273.835s
3Rene RastRosbergAudi278.403s
4Timo GlockRMRBMW2711.849s
5Jamie GreenRosbergAudi2713.094s
6Joel ErikssonRBMBMW2716.248s
7Robin FrijnsAbtAudi2722.172s
8Jake DennisR-MotorsportAston Martin2736.954s
9Bruno SpenglerRMGBMW2751.319s
10Loic DuvalPhoenixAudi2755.877s
11Ferdinand HabsburgR-MotorsportAston Martin2758.838s
12Marco WittmannRMGBMW2759.767s
13Sheldon van der LindeRBMBMW271m00.417s
14Philipp EngRMRBMW271m01.873s
15Pietro FittipaldiWRTAudi271m30.051s
16Jenson ButtonTeam KunimitsuHonda271m55.243s
17Ronnie QuintarelliNismoNissan261 Lap
-Jonathan AberdeinWRTAudi14Retirement
-Paul Di RestaR-MotorsportAston Martin0Not started
-Daniel JuncadellaR-MotorsportAston Martin0Retirement
-Nick CassidyTOM'SLexus0Retirement

Final drivers' standings

1Rene Rast322
2Nico Muller250
3Marco Wittmann202
4Mike Rockenfeller182
5Robin Frijns157
6Philipp Eng144
7Loic Duval134
8Jamie Green115
9Bruno Spengler106
10Jonathan Aberdein67
11Joel Eriksson61
12Timo Glock58
13Sheldon van der Linde42
14Daniel Juncadella23
15Pietro Fittipaldi22
16Paul Di Resta21
17Jake Dennis17
18Ferdinand Habsburg3
19Jenson Button0
20Andrea Dovizioso0
21Ryo Hirakawa0
22Ronnie Quintarelli0

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