The fifth race in the 2016 DTM season wrapped up at Zandvoort in Belgium
The fifth race of the 2016 DTM racing season finished today before a crowd of 38,000 fans at the historic Zandvoort course in Belgium. Brit Jaime Green was in the number one position at the end of the 39th lap taking the checkered flag. To celebrate his win, he delighted the crowd with a series of donuts and by jumping into the arms of his team.
When asked about his win, Jaime Green said “before the pit stops, I very much doubted I could win. My rear view mirror was cluttered with competitors.”. When asked about the start of the race, he said “after my first pit stop, I felt much better. The second set of tires worked wonderfully and let me control the race.”
Green battled early in the race fending off attacks from Saturday’s winner Robert Wickens. After his first pit stop, he seemed to cruise to victory after Wickens hit some trouble.
Off the line, Gary Paffett had a better start than Green but was not fast enough to cover the inside line and lead into Turn 1, giving up his position to Green.
Paffett followed Green closely in the first lap but dropped back only to be passed by Wickens at Turn 1.
Wickens tried in vain to remain close to Green but was handicapped by equipment failure due to a technical glitch in the first six laps.
Wickens and Green battled it out up until just outside Turn 1 on lap 11 when Green shut the door on Wick pulling out in front into Turn 2. Shortly thereafter, Green and Wickens made their mandatory pit stops on the same lap with Green emerging ahead coming out of the pits.
Paffett, in third place came in for his mandatory pit stop on his next lap. However, because of a slow pit stop, he surrendered his position to Christian Vietoris.
Running in the middle of the pack with their pit stops behind them, Green and Wickens caught up to the Mercedes of Dani Juncadella, who was instructed by his bosses to “defend [from] Green and help Robert”. However, Juncadella was trumped by Green when newcomer Rene Rast allowed Green to pass significantly impeding Wickens for most of the remaining lap.
With the assistance of Rast, the gap between first and second place was a mere two seconds with nothing but Audis up on the road. Green continued to receive assistance in the form of an opening set up by Mike Rockenfeller, who waved him past on the main straight.
At three seconds, the gap between Green and Wickens stabilized until Wickens left front wheel failed in the closing minutes causing him to go off course at the Masturkurve, clogging up the radiator of his Mercedes C63 DTM with grass, forcing him into the pits.
Despite Wickens’ setbacks, Mercedes would have had two spots on the podium. However, when Vietoris suffered a tire puncture and exited the race, the prospect of a two-podium finish was all but dashed. This opened up the door for Edoardo Motara to join Green and Paffett on the podium.
A fourth position finish by Championship leader Marco Wittman earned him an additional seven-point lead over his closest rival, Green. Finishing fifth was Nico Muller, ahead of Timo Glock, Ekstrom, and Paul di Resta.
Lucas Auer and Tom Blomqvist were involved in a mid-race spat that resulted in a warning for Auer for forcing Blomqvist off the track, rounded up the top ten.
Series newcomer Rast who assisted Green earlier in the race had a 19th place finish, just before Esteban Ocon, who had been hit by Antonio Felix da Costa.
Felix da Costa was later involved in an accident with Molina out of Turn 1, that resulted in Molina’s hood coming loose and blocking his view.