Spa DTM: Muller wins as Audi dominates season opener

Rachit Thukral
·3-min read

At the start of the race, Robin Frijns led the field from pole position, with the sister Abt Audi of Nico Muller slotting into second place.

Frijns initially stretched his advantage to over a second, but started to fall into the clutches of Muller on Lap 4, the gap between the two dropping down to 0.6s.

This allowed Muller to get a great run on Frijns along the Kemmel straight before executing a simple move into Les Combes to seize the lead of the race.

From there on, Muller enjoyed an untroubled run as others suffered with tyre woes, crossing the line with 19.502s in hand to claim his fifth victory in the DTM.

Jamie Green, who had qualified last of the factory Audi runners in 11th, put on a stunning drive to finish behind Muller, passing Loic Duval at Blanchimont on the penultimate lap for second.

Mike Rockenfeller appeared to have done enough to secure second place, having passed both Rene Rast and Frijns in rapid succession on lap 20.

However, his tyres appeared to give up five laps later, allowing both Duval and Green - who had qualified last of the factory Audi runners in 11th - to demote him to fourth.

Rast switched to an unconventional two-stop strategy after tyre struggles of his own, but recovered to finish fifth, just three seconds behind Rockenfeller.

Philipp Eng was the top BMW driver in sixth, having waited until lap 15 to complete his sole pitstop.

Lucas Auer finished just 1.5s behind Eng in seventh in his first outing for BMW, ahead of Timo Glock (BMW) and Frijns, who slipped down the order in the closing stages of the race.

New BMW recruit Jonathan Aberdein demoted two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann to 11th on the run to the line to claim the final championship point.

Wittmann had been running as the top BMW driver in fifth, but his pace began to drop off rapidly in the final five laps of the race.

Formula 1 convert Robert Kubica finished 14th on his DTM debut in an ART-run BMW, more than a minute behind the winning car of Muller.

Sheldon van der Linde was the only driver to retire from the race after suffering technical issues while running in sixth place on Lap 2.

Ferdinand Habsburg failed to take the start after his WRT Audi took heavy damage during a crash at Stavelot during practice. 

Race results:

1

51

Switzerland
Switzerland

Nico Müller

Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020

20

57'58.596

2

53

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Jamie Green

Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020

20

19.502

3

28

France
France

Loic Duval

Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020

20

22.839

4

99

Germany
Germany

Mike Rockenfeller

Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020

20

29.234

5

33

Germany
Germany

René Rast

Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020

20

32.023

6

25

Austria
Austria

Philipp Eng

BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020

20

36.424

7

22

Austria
Austria

Lucas Auer

BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020

20

38.205

8

16

Germany
Germany

Timo Glock

BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020

20

42.692

9

4

Netherlands
Netherlands

Robin Frijns

Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020

20

51.888

10

27

South Africa
South Africa

Jonathan Aberdein

BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020

20

54.149

11

11

Germany
Germany

Marco Wittmann

BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020

20

54.584

12

13

Switzerland
Switzerland

Fabio Scherer

Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020

20

57.743

13

10

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Harrison Newey

Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020

20

1'11.793

14

8

Poland
Poland

Robert Kubica

BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020

20

1'18.844

15

31

South Africa
South Africa

Sheldon Van Der Linde

BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020

17

3 laps

View full results