Rene Rast moved to the head of the DTM championship standings on Saturday at Zolder during the penultimate race weekend, taking a relatively comfortable victory from pole position.
Rast got away well from pole, only losing the lead during his one and only stop for fresh tyres. Although the victory looked comfortable, the Audi driver did come under pressure from the chasing Robin Frijns.
Frijns got close at one stage, even drawing alongside, but a small error let Rast open a small gap of around two seconds which he was able to hold onto until the chequered flag fell.
Heading into the race weekend it was Nico Muller who held the points advantage, but a scrappy opening lap and contact with Harrison Newey saw Muller drop from eighth to P14.
The Safety Car made a brief appearance on Lap 2 for debris from that clash, which was swiftly cleared and the race back underway at the end of Lap 3.
Muller would recover to sixth ahead of Newey to at least salvage some championship points. Finishing ahead of that battle was Fabio Scherer in fifth as he held off the chasing duo.
A great podium battle broke out in the second half of the race with Ferdinand Habsburg taking his maiden top three finish, denying Jonathan Abderdein what would have been his first podium, with the two youngsters split by under a second.
Other notable incidents included Jamie Green getting tagged by Philipp Eng, which earned the Austrian a drive-through penalty. Green spun as a result of the contact and dropped back to P12, but recovered to finish eighth.
Green made a late pass on Timo Glock for that position, but was forced to hand it back by the stewards after he forced his fellow racer wide. It didn’t take long for Green to once again clear the former Toyota F1 driver though.
Behind Glock in ninth was Marco Wittmann, Lucas Auer, Eng, Sheldon Van der Linde and finally Benoit Treluyer.
Robert Kubica, who led his first ever DTM race after a late stop, failed to finish with an engine issue. Mike Rockenfeller was the only other retirement.