#DTM @robertwickens takes lights to flag victory in Race One at Zandvoort
Robert Wickens converted his pole position into a dominant victory in Round 11 of the DTM championship at Zandvoort.
Wickens started the race well with a textbook launch and despite the safety car being deployed during the race Wickens couldn’t be caught and took the chequered flag with 7 seconds between himself and second placed Marco Wittmann.
Wittmann too had an uneventful race but continued his very consistent run and quietly went about extending his championship lead from 2 points to 10 with his only threat being the Mucke Motorsport car of Christian Vietoris piling on the pressure early on. Vietoris eventually came third after dropping back from 2014 champion Wittmann.
Gary Paffett equaled his best result of the year with fourth place. Paffett held his position at the start but towards the end of the race, Paffett overtook Vietoris only to seemingly let the German back through for the podium. This incident confused many and we still don’t have a proper answer. Jamie Green came fifth after practically running a race on his own with nobody around him.
Antonio Felix Da Costa was sixth after starting eighth, the Portuguese driver gained one place at the start after Ocon fell back and another when Edo Mortara received a penalty. He fought a practically non-stop barrage of failed overtakes from Mattias Ekstrom to cross the finish line well in the top 10. Mattias Ekstrom -who had a torrid weekend at the Norisring three weeks ago- found himself frustrated after being stuck behind Da Costa for the majority of the race.
Dani Juncadella scored his first DTM points of the season after a fight through the field. Juncadella started in 13th and managed to get himself up to 10th at the start due to Tambay’s accident and the Spaniard passing both Martin and Glock. He was then helped up the order by Mortara’s penalty and made his way past Ocon for eighth.
DTM rookie Esteban Ocon scored his first ever points in DTM with a ninth place finish. The French driver found himself rising and falling through the field after his poor start which left him ninth. He then went up into eighth after Mortara was penalised but fell back down to ninth when Juncadella got past.
Rounding off the top 10 was Maxime Martin who started 12th. He lost out to Juncadella at the start but gained positions from Glock, Tambay and Mortara. Then came Scheider, Auer, Spengler, Rockenfeller, Di Resta, Blomqvist, Mortara, Molina, Tomczyk, Muller, Glock, Farfus, Gotz and Tambay
Mortara came 18th and received a drive through penalty for not slowing down sufficiently when a slow zone was activated. 20th placed Muller received a penalty for the same reason. Martin Tomczyk however received a penalty for causing a collision as he took both Gotz and Tambay out of the race before the first corner. Tomczyk ran into the back of Gotz making the Mercedes veer to the left and collect Adrien Tambay. Tomczyk kept running but Gotz and Tambay were out. Tambay contracted minor injuries and Rene Rast will start Round 12 in his place Farfus also retired after putting one wheel onto the grass the Brazilian’s car got out of control and hit the tyre wall.