Audi's Mike Rockenfeller has admitted last weekend's Moscow triumph is a 'big step' in the championship race as the German vies to win his maiden DTM title.
Rockenfeller moved 27 points clear of his nearest rival and defending champion, Bruno Spengler, after dominating proceedings at the Moscow Raceway to claim his second victory of the season.
Spengler and BMW have seen their early season advantage evaporate during the past few race weekends with the Canadian even failing to score a point in Russia following a collision with, ironically, Rockenfeller's Phoenix-Audi team mate Miguel Molina.
Rockenfeller, meanwhile, has displayed the consistency of a champion and as a result hasn't finished outside the top-five since the season opener at Hockenheim.
“Obviously, this is a really big step in the Championship,” said Rockenfeller.
“It's great having won here at the DTM's premiere in Russia. It was a similarly perfect race as at Brands Hatch: starting from the pole position and finishing in first place.
“My Audi RS 5 DTM was fantastic and Team Phoenix did a superb job. At the Norisring, I was too slow but here everything fit together.”
Britain's Gary Paffett still remains in the championship hunt 37-points off the summit with 100-points still on the table.