Misano DTM: Di Resta wins crazy night race, Paffett out

Paul Di Resta won a chaotic first-ever DTM night race at Misano, as Gary Paffett lost most of his points lead after contact with Edoardo Mortara.

Misano DTM: Di Resta wins crazy night race, Paffett out

Di Resta started the weekend 29 points behind Paffett but took maximum points by claiming both pole position and victory, and is now just one adrift in the standings.

The Scotsman had a sluggish start from pole and his lead was threatened by both Mortara and Paffett, but he held on the outside line of Turn 1 and stayed ahead.

Mortara ran wide a corner latter, allowing Paffett to take second, the title rivals running in the top two positions in the early stages.

The duo changes tyres at the same time on lap seven, and Paffett narrowly managed to keep Mortara, who was on hotter tyres, at bay when he rejoined.

However, a lap later Paffett locked up his tyres at Turn 8 and had to take the left-hander on the outside line, only to be hit by Mortara regardless, as the Italian was busy defending from Philipp Eng and ran wide on his own.

Paffett retired on the spot and the safety car was out with Daniel Juncadella, Augusto Farfus - the two drivers yet to pit - sat ahead of Di Resta and Eng.

On the restart, Eng quickly gained two places as Juncadella ran wide and Di Resta fell behind the Austrian, but safety car was soon out again due to two separate incidents - one involving Audi teammates Rene Rast and Jamie Green, and another between Bruno Spengler and Lucas Auer.

It was Eng's turn to have a bad restart this time around and he was back behind Di Resta, only for the Scotsman to run wide at Turn 8, handing second place, which soon became the lead, to Eng.

Eng, who started 18th and was the first driver to pit while running 15th, looked comfortable initially as he built a 2.6s lead over Di Resta.

But with about 10 minutes left on the clock, Di Resta, followed by Mercedes stablemate Mortara, rapidly closed in on Eng.

Di Resta eventually made a move at Turn 9 with Mortara forcibly following through at the same corner, and putting pressure on the former F1 driver.

However, Mortara couldn't overtake and had to even defend from the charging Robin Frijns - the Dutchman running ninth after the second restart and then dropping as low as 12th before he began an impressive recovery.

Frijns had carved his way through the field and after an unsuccessful move on Mortara at Turn 8 on the final lap, he forced the Italian into a mistake at Carro and claimed second place, his first podium in the DTM.

Mortara had to settle for third followed by Audi duo Loic Duval and Nico Muller.

Pascal Wehrlein was sixth with Timo Glock becoming the top BMW in seventh, as Eng faded to eighth.

Marco Wittmann dropped to last place early on after being sent into a spin by Frijns, but recovered to ninth followed by Mike Rockenfeller.

Late-pitter Farfus was 11th, as Joel Eriksson, who had a drive-through penalty for pushing another car while running sixth, and BMW wildcard Alex Zanardi rounding out the order.

Juncadella retired with a car failure with five laps remaining.

Race results

Cla   Driver Car Laps Gap
1   United Kingdom Paul di Resta  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 32  
2   Netherlands Robin Frijns  Audi RS5 DTM 32 1.973
3   Italy Edoardo Mortara  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 32 2.144
4   France Loic Duval  Audi RS5 DTM 32 2.931
5   Switzerland Nico Müller  Audi RS5 DTM 32 3.663
6   Germany Pascal Wehrlein  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 32 8.826
7   Germany Timo Glock  BMW M4 DTM 32 13.624
8   Austria Philipp Eng  BMW M4 DTM 32 14.390
9   Germany Marco Wittmann  BMW M4 DTM 32 17.398
10   Germany Mike Rockenfeller  Audi RS5 DTM 32 21.447
11   Brazil Augusto Farfus  BMW M4 DTM 32 31.483
12   Sweden Joel Eriksson  BMW M4 DTM 32 44.200
13   Alessandro Zanardi  BMW M4 DTM 32 1'14.633
  dnf Spain Daniel Juncadella  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 27 5 Laps
  dnf Germany René Rast  Audi RS5 DTM 14 18 Laps
  dnf Canada Bruno Spengler  BMW M4 DTM 12 20 Laps
  dnf United Kingdom Jamie Green  Audi RS5 DTM 12 20 Laps
  dnf Austria Lucas Auer  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 12 20 Laps
  dnf United Kingdom Gary Paffett  Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 7 25 Laps
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