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Audi drivers also dominated proceedings in the final free practice session of the Moscow race weekend. All six drivers of the brand from Ingolstadt ended up amongst the first seven positions.

Like on Friday, Jamie Green was fastest, now with a time of 1m27.661s. Next up were Mattias Ekström (1m27.664s), René Rast (1m27.725s) and Loïc Duval (1m27.797s).

“I first have to take a look at the time sheets. We are working on the car and the balance. Let’s see what qualifying has in store,” Jamie Green said.

The only driver who ranked among the Audis was Augusto Farfus. Classified fifth, the Brazilian was the best-placed BMW driver (1m28.047s).

Nico Müller (1m28.055s) and Mike Rockenfeller (1m28.175s) rounded out the sextet in sixth and seventh place. Next up was Paul Di Resta as the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver in eighth place (1m28.399s).

Qualifying starts at 11.30 hrs local time (10.30 hrs CET). German TV channel One is broadcasting the session from Moscow live from 10.25 hrs CET.  

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In his first race at Moscow Raceway, René Rast claimed victory straight away. In the race at the 3.931 kilometres long track on Saturday, the Audi driver converted his pole position into a commanding race win, his second victory in the most popular international touring car series.

Thus, the German claimed back the DTM points’ lead at the halfway point of the season with nine of 18 races in the books. In spite of his foot injury, incurred in the accident at the Norisring, Mike Rockenfeller finished second and thus completed the 1-2 for Audi.

Reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann secured third place with his BMW. Robert Wickens finished fourth as the best-placed Mercedes driver.

“That was an almost perfect race,” winner Rast summed up. “My start wasn’t optimal, but after that, it went really well. I led the race throughout and I am happy to be back in the lead of the points’ standings.”

He didn’t have any worries that his fellow Audi driver Rockenfeller would challenge him for victory. “Mike was within the DRS window but he was never really close enough to attack.”

That Rockenfeller could be this fast in the first place after his accident, he owes to the doctors and the physiotherapists. “They deserve many thanks,” the second-placed said after finishing only 0.770s behind Rast.

His broken metatarsal bone was fixated with a special tape. Rockenfeller only had limited use of his injured left foot: he had to adapt his driving style and switch to right-foot braking.

While positions were taken up front, Marco Wittmann had to fight for his slot on the podium. “The opening lap was really good,” he commented. “After that, I had some good duels, particularly with Robert Wickens, whom I had to let in front for a while.”

He claimed back third place in the final stages of the race and secured yet another podium finish in Russia after his victory in Moscow last year and his second place from 2014. “I would be more than happy if we can build on this performance tomorrow.”

Mattias Ekström only finished eighth after 38 laps. On the opening lap, the Swede tangled with Timo Glock, slid off the track and lost several positions. Glock was given a warning by the stewards for the incident.

In spite of his early pit stop on lap three, a tactic that had allowed Ekström to score points on several occasions in previous races, and duels that he decided in his favour, Ekström only managed to finish eighth. Thus, he lost the lead in the drivers’ standings.

The race result from Moscow considerably mixed up the DTM drivers’ standings. The first three drivers are separated by only six points. After nine of this season’s 18 DTM races, René Rast is leading again with 99 points. Lucas Auer is second with 95 points after finishing sixth today.

Ekström is third at 93 points. In the manufacturers’ standings, Audi extended its lead and at the half-time point ranks in first place with 378 points from Mercedes (309) and BMW (276).

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René Rast is the man of the first half of the DTM season. Following his lights-to-flag victory at the Moscow Raceway on Saturday, the DTM driver is leading in the drivers’ standings at the halfway point of the season with a total of 99 points from Mercedes-AMG driver Lucas Auer (95) and fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekström (93).

The Swede lost the points’ lead and generally had a poor day. In spite of a broken left metatarsal bone, Mike Rockenfeller completed the 1-2 for the brand from Ingolstadt.

“That was a perfect race, the way people want to win. The start wasn’t as good as I hoped. The pit stop was excellent. Of course, being in the lead of the championship again is a nice feeling.

I hope we can continue like this,” Rast said after shining on his first-ever outing in Moscow. “At Audi Sport, we have a very good simulator. I felt like being at home after only one or two laps,” he commented.

Second-placed Rockenfeller didn’t have any reason to complain either. ‘Rocky’ came to the prize-giving ceremony on crutches, but in the car, the Audi driver was as fast as ever. ‘Mr. Moscow’, who won here already in 2013 and 2015, scored his best season result to date. “For me, today is a great day. Not many people had expected us to do so well here. I am all the more proud for it. I reckon that it isn’t easy to start right-foot braking and still be up front in the DTM.”

Behind the duo up front, the two winners from last year were involved in a battle for many laps. Eventually, Marco Wittmann came out on top from Robert Wickens. Wittmann, who was fastest in qualifying, only started from sixth place on the grid following a penalty and therefore was more than happy with his podium finish.

“I am very happy. The track seems to suit me. During the race, I had some nice battles with Timo Glock and particularly with Robert Wickens. Tomorrow, we can build on this.”

Classified fourth, Wickens ended up as the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver, but there was nothing he could do against Wittmann’s attacks. “When people would have told me after free practice that I would finish in the top five, I would have considered it as a joke."

"I had the feeling that we were having problems with the brakes. After free practice, we changed the brake system within one hour. From eleventh on the grid, I was already sixth after the opening lap. Being able to challenge for a podium finish was a dream. It feels like victory.”

With so many winners, there were also losers, of course. One person in particular: on lap five, Mattias Ekström was obstructed by BMW driver Timo Glock, who incurred a warning for his move.

That cost the erstwhile points’ leader a position at the front of the field. ‘Eki’ at least scored three points for finishing eighth, allowing him to stay within reach from Rast and Auer.

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Prior to the DTM round at Moscow Raceway, the DMSB partly changed and redefined the procedure for the allocation of the performance weights. The rule change comes into force with immediate effect. 

After the race, the average fastest lap times of the three best-placed drivers of each manufacturer in the drivers’ standings who were classified in the race will be determined.

This average is determined from a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 30 laps. How many laps exactly is decided at random after the race.

Then, the average for each manufacturer is determined from the three individual averages per driver, which is then used as the basis for the allocation of the performance weight in the same way as it was done before.