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For the favourites, it was a pitch-black day in the first race at Circuit Zandvoort on Saturday. Mattias Ekström and Lucas Auer were soon out of the battle for the top positions after early off-track excursions.

At least, René Rast still scored two points for finishing in ninth place. BMW, on the other hand, took its chance and scored a clean sweep of the top three. After a pair of second places, Timo Glock scored his first win of the season from Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin.

“Now, I have twice as many points as I have ever had in a full DTM season before. I wanted to be in the top five of the drivers’ standings. Currently, it seems as if we are in a position to pull that off. Today, I have scored 28 points. But tomorrow, everything can be entirely different again. There is still a long way to go until the end of the season,” Glock said after his fourth DTM career win. With 98 points, the BMW driver is currently fourth in the drivers’ standings after eleven of 18 points.

Audi driver René Rast (114 points) is now one point ahead of his fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekström (113 points). In the race, Rast also established a new DTM lap record for the track on the Dutch North Sea coast with a time of 1m30.160s on lap 21. Mercedes-AMG driver Lucas Auer remains third (99 points).

The situation drivers’ standings promises a thrilling battle for the title in the remaining races. The first eight drivers are only 29 points apart. The situation in today’s race was just as close. Eventually, race winner Glock was only 12.9 seconds ahead of twelfth-placed Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-AMG).

“After having come in early for our pit stop, it was difficult to keep the tyres alive throughout the distance. This is a great result for BMW.

I am very happy.” Just like Martin, Wittmann pitted on lap seven. For the BMW driver, second place was his best season result to date. For the defending champion, Zandvoort is a very good venue anyway."

"In his races at the track in the dunes so far, he never finished lower than fifth. Wittmann is now seventh in the drivers’ standings with 91 points, Maxime Martin is one place ahead of him with 93 points. For the Belgian, his third place was already his fourth podium finish of the season.

“At the end of the race, the Audis were faster, I had to defend my position against Mike Rockenfeller. Certainly, the good qualifying was 50 percent of the result here.”

Already six times in 2017, a BMW driver started from pole position, but only twice, it was enough to win a race. This time, it worked out in a race once again. With 380 points, the brand from Munich moved ahead of Mercedes-AMG (351) in the manufacturers’ standings. Audi remains undisputedly in the lead (446).

For Lucas Auer, the race was his fourth non-score of the season. After an off-track excursion in the first half of the race, the Austrian only finished 15th: “Today simply was a very difficult day. There is no need for any long comments. That’s racing. Tomorrow is another day. We will get it done.” Classified seventh, Paul Di Resta was the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver."

"The 2010 champion will be competing in his 100th DTM race in the second race of the weekend on Sunday. For Mattias Ekström, things didn’t go to plan at all. The Swede, who already won at Zandvoort four times, came in for a tyre change on lap four and then slid into the gravel trap immediately afterwards and then spun once more."

"In total, he lost some 30 seconds in the process. With three laps remaining, ‘Eki’ parked his Audi in the pits from 17th place with a puncture"

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In qualifying, Timo Glock has secured the best starting grid position for the race on Saturday: with his BMW M4 DTM, he posted the fastest lap time of 1m27.823s and thus claimed the third DTM pole of his career.

The following positions are also firmly in the hands of BMW. Next to Glock on the front row, Augusto Farfus is second, Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin share the second row on the grid.

René Rast is the best-placed Audi driver. The DTM novice, currently second in the drivers’ standings, will be starting the eleventh race of the season from fifth place on the grid.

Rain setting in around the halfway point of the 20 minutes’ session prevented another attack on the fastest times. On a wet track, any improvements of the times were impossible, so that the order after the first attempts remained unchanged.

Thus, the first race of the weekend will be a difficult affair for DTM points’ leader Mattias Ekström. The Swede qualified tenth. For Lucas Auer, it will be even more difficult, he is further down in 16th place.

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Timo Glock has scored his first win of the season at Zandvoort in The Netherlands. At the 4.307 kilometres long circuit in the dunes, the 35-year-old scored a dominant win after 37 laps from his fellow BMW drivers Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin.

For ex-Formula 1 driver Glock, it is his fourth DTM race win in his 67th race. “Three BMWs up front, a dream,” Glock said about the race result. Fourth and fifth place went to Audi drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Jamie Green.

Paul Di Resta was the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver in seventh. For René Rast, ninth place was enough to take the lead in the DTM drivers’ standings from his fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekström.

What looked like an undisputed lights-to-flag victory for Glock, who had started from pole position, was hard work behind the wheel: “My left front tyre was at the limit very fast. It felt strange and I was really worried whether the tyre would last throughout the distance. But eventually, everything went well and I am very happy with the result.”

René Rast can also be more or less happy. The Audi driver only scored two points for his ninth-place finish, but that was enough to move ahead of Mattias Ekström in the drivers’ standings with an advantage of one point.

The Swede, who had started the race from tenth place on the grid, lost his chances of scoring a good result by himself as he slid into the gravel trap with cold tyres after his pit stop and also spun on the same lap. Thus, he was no longer able to score points. Lucas Auer didn’t score any points either.

After 16th place in qualifying, Auer collided with Nico Müller in the race. The Austrian was able to continue his race, but 15th place was all he managed.  

In the DTM drivers’ standings, the first eight drivers are closer together after the race at Zandvoort on Saturday: points’ leader Rast (114 points) and Mike Rockenfeller (85 points) in eighth place are separated by only 29 points.

Behind Rast, Ekström is second with 113 points ahead of Lucas Auer (99 points) and Timo Glock (98 points).

The second race of the Zandvoort weekend starts on Sunday at 15.15 hrs.

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With a lap time of 1m29.506s, BMW driver Augusto Farfus was fastest in Friday’s first free practice at Circuit Zandvoort.

Behind the Brazilian, Mercedes driver Lucas Auer (1m29.749s) was classified second at the track on the Dutch North Sea coast.

Farfus’s fellow BMW driver Marco Wittmann (1m29.875s) and Audi’s Mattias Ekström (1m29.934s), who had a left front puncture just before the end of the session, followed in third and fourth place.

“This was a good Friday for me. Let’s see what these lap times will be worth tomorrow and on Sunday."

"The handling of the car was good. The track has changed significantly, it provides much more grip. However, I don’t really think that the asphalt will be making a huge difference in the races."

"We will get to see some different race strategies again,” Farfus commented after his fastest time.