Nick Cassidy took a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the first DTM race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring, taking his second victory in a row.
The Kiwi retained the lead at the start and never looked back, unmatchable as his rivals couldn’t keep up behind him. Rene Rast, the quickest driver in qualifying but received a three-place grid penalty for contact, with Cassidy, at Spa last time out, finished second, getting past both Lucas Auer, who started second, and Ricardo Feller, who was third on the grid.
With championship leader Sheldon van der Linde not scoring — he finished 11th after starting 17th — this moves Rast, second in the championship, considerably closer to S. van der Linde, with 13 points now separating the two.
In third was Mirko Bortolotti, who has moved up from fifth to third in the championship, seven points behind Rast. Both Rast and Bortolotti took multiple positions on the first lap, squabbling for second early on, but neither could challenge an untouchable Cassidy.
Lucas Auer and Thomas Preining finished fourth and fifth on the road, but dropped back to ninth and tenth as a result of a 10-second penalty each. This meant Nico Muller and Kelvin van der Linde finished fourth and fifth instead, with three Mercedes-AMG drivers — Maro Engel, Maximilian Gotz, and Luca Stolz — in sixth, seventh and eighth.
Auer and Preining rounded out the top 10.
The second race of the weekend will take place tomorrow at 12:30 UK time.