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The first win in his 52nd race: the Sunday race at Moscow Raceway saw DTM returnee Maro Engel winning for the first time in his career in the most popular international touring car series.

In a race that was dominated by intense duels and numerous overtaking manoeuvres, the Mercedes driver remained in control and laid the foundation for victory with an early pit stop. “That was an incredible race,” Engel said after the finish. There was also joy for Mattias Ekström.

The Audi driver finished second and thus claimed back the lead in the drivers’ standings. After 36 laps, Bruno Spengler finished third with his BMW M4 DTM.

“I was surprised to see the chequered flag. I wasn’t aware that the race was already over,” race winner Engel admitted.

In 2009, one sixth place was his best DTM race result to date. “These were the longest laps in my career.” Not without reason because Ekström came to the fore in the closing stages of the race, overtook one driver after another and considerably mixed up the order behind Engel."

In the early part of the race, things didn’t look good for Ekström who had started from the front row of the grid. The safety car was deployed after an excursion from Maxime Martin on lap 5.

That particularly favoured those drivers who had already made their pit stop at that time: Engel, Wittmann, Duval and Blomqvist. In the final part of the race, the Swede worked his way up and was rewarded for his spirited drive with second place and the lead in the drivers’ standings.

“This was a crazily wild race,” the Swede commented at the finish. “A bit hardcore, but racing like this is fun. Taking the points’ lead after a cool race is even better. Congratulations to Maro, he deserved this win. I only needed one more lap, then I probably would have caught him.”

Bruno Spengler came third at Moscow Raceway, having already scored five podium finishes in Russia. The Canadian used his chance in the turbulent closing stages and claimed third place that his fellow BMW driver Marco Wittmann held for a long time.

“That really was a tough race today, a big fight and good racing!” Wittmann, who initially seemed to be on course for victory, had to hand the lead to Engel on lap 23 and dropped back to sixth with degrading tyres.

In the DTM drivers’ standings, Mattias Ekström is back in the lead. With 113 points, he is one point clear of his fellow Audi driver René Rast. M

ercedes driver Lucas Auer, who still managed to score two points for finishing ninth today, is third with 97 points. Behind Jamie Green (87 points) and Mike Rockenfeller (79 points), Maxime Martin is the best-placed BMW driver with 78 points. This time, the Belgian didn’t score any points due to his retirement.

After a four weeks’ summer break, the DTM is racing at Zandvoort in The Netherlands from 18-20 August, 2017. The circuit in the dunes serves as the venue for the eleventh and twelfth race of the season.

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The engineers from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG probably didn’t get a lot of sleep in the night from Saturday to Sunday during the DTM weekend at Moscow Raceway.

There is hardly any other way to explain the step up in performance. While Marco Wittmann came just short of the 1m27s limit with his pole-winning time of 1m27.035s in first qualifying, half of the field was faster on Sunday morning.

Tom Blomqvist secured pole position for the tenth DTM race of the season after completing his fastest lap of the 3.931 kilometres long circuit with his BMW M4 DTM in 1m26.518s.

The Brit, who will be starting from the best grid position for the third time in his DTM career, will be followed by Bruno Spengler (BMW), Mattias Ekström and René Rast (both Audi) in second to fourth place from the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver, Paul Di Resta in fifth. The other drivers to post sub-1m27s lap times were the three BMW drivers Timo Glock, Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin as well as Audi’s Loïc Duval.

With regard to the drivers’ standings, this means for the first race of the second season half: good positions for points’ leader Rast and third-placed Ekström.

Lucas Auer, who is only four points down on Rast in second place, only ended up 14th in qualifying and now has to find an extremely good strategy to be able to end up front in the race. That promises a lot of excitement.

“I had a very good lap. With the second set of tyres, the car was really fast." Said Blomqvist

"I am very happy and I am now concentrating on the race to see what I can achieve." He added


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The stewards of the meeting excluded Tom Blomqvist from qualifying because the required residu amount of fuel wasn’t available in his BMW M4 DTM.

The Brit will be starting the race from the back of the grid. Points for qualifying go to Bruno Spengler (3), Mattias Ekström (2) and René Rast (1).

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The Deutsche Motor Sport Bund (DMSB) will not apply the bulletin that was published immediately before the race in Moscow. The DMSB representatives in the DTM commission decided this on Saturday evening.

The bulletin included yet another adjustment of the performance weight ruling. However, the DMSB officials came to the conclusion, according to their own comments, that the modification wouldn’t bring the required result either.

The DMSB has announced to call a meeting of the so-called DTM commission that consists of representatives of the manufacturers, the ITR and the DMSB after the race weekend at Moscow Raceway to work together on a sustainable solution.

ITR chairman Gerhard Berger welcomes the step made by the DMSB: “The DMSB has made the only right decision in not applying its Bulletin 7. It was realised that the planned modifications wouldn’t have had the required effect."

"This acknowledgement shows true quality and has prevented further damage to be caused to the DTM in this discussion.”

Berger continues: “The discussions in the past few weeks have shown that there can be no satisfactory ruling for the performance weights. Meanwhile, this will have become clear to everyone involved.”

On several occasions, the former racing driver had already spoken out for the performance weights to be abandoned and therefore fully supports the view of DMSB president Hans-Joachim Stuck, who is also for abandoning the result-based additional weights. “We have to ensure quickly that the great racing that the DTM provides comes into the limelight again.”

Accordingly, there are no changes to the allocation of the performance weights prior to the second race at Moscow Raceway. On Sunday, Audi is racing again with 1,117.5 kg, BMW with 1,122.5 kg and Mercedes-AMG with 1,127.5 kg.