Robert Wickens took an improbable first career DTM victory in a chaotic wet-and-dry race at the Nurburgring.
Key to the Canadian's result were a succession of overtaking moves just before half-distance. After snatching fourth from Miguel Molina at the chicane on lap 18, he then completed an incredible round-the-outside move at Turn 2 to pass Augusto Farfus and Adrien Tambay for second.
The HWA Mercedes driver then began the long process of closing in on championship leader Mike Rockenfeller, who assumed the lead after being the first man to change to wet tires as the rain fell. With the Phoenix Audi driver's initial tire change having taken place before the pit window opened, his race instantly became a three-stopper while Wickens and most of the rest of the field were able to pit only twice.
Rockenfeller's lead was reduced from 27 seconds before his second stop to just 13sec ahead of his final trip to the pits, meaning that Wickens was able to pass him while the German was stationary and take a lead he was not to lose.
Polesitter Farfus, who led the initial wet laps on slick tires, came through to second place with Christian Vietoris quietly climbing to third in his HWA Mercedes.
Rockenfeller had been virtually last at the end of the opening lap, having gone off at the race's first corner to avoid a spinning Joey Hand. He finished fourth and increased his championship lead to 35 points. It is now Vietoris who lies second, with Wickens third overall and ahead of Bruno Spengler.
Martin Tomczyk avoided the first-lap melee, which also included spins for Edoardo Mortara, Mattias Ekstrom and Timo Scheider at Turn 2, to run in the top 10 all race and end his points hiatus in fifth while Tambay took sixth.
Marco Wittmann – who went off while leading on slicks on a wet track – and Miguel Molina, who also had an excursion while fighting with Vietoris, finished seventh and eighth, the Spaniard taking his first points of the year.
Albuquerque also made contact with champion Spengler at three-quarters distance, dropping the BMW man outside the points, while Gary Paffett had an awful race and finished a lapped 17th.
Results - 47 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 1h15m33.710s
2. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW +2.158s
3. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes +9.749s
4. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi +20.524s
5. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW +27.104s
6. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi +27.523s
7. Marco Wittmann MTEK BMW +29.540s
8. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi +33.037s
9. Jamie Green Abt Audi +39.972s
10. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Mercedes +40.486s
11. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi +40.908s
12. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi +42.629s
13. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi +46.303s
14. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW +51.991s
15. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW +57.649s
16. Andy Priaulx RMG BMW +1m21.517s
17. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes +1 lap
18. Timo Glock MTEK BMW +1 lap
19. Roberto Merhi HWA Mercedes +1 lap
Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes 29 laps
Timo Scheider Abt Audi 8 laps
Joey Hand RBM BMW 0 laps