HWA's Paul di Resta was left to rue a 'tough' second Norisring race despite ending his weekend as the top Mercedes runner with a fourth place finish.

Courtesy of Mattias Ekstrom's three grid-place penalty - given to Swede for taking Mercedes duo Robert Wickens and Christian Vietoris out of yesterday's lead battle - Di Resta started race two on the front row having qualified in third position.

However, while the ex-F1 driver may have initially benefited from Ekstrom's grid demotion, Di Resta's afternoon was ultimately compromised after suffering contact with the said Audi driver.

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Di Resta said that subsequent loss of downforce put him on the back foot for the remainder of the 72-lap race but managed to cling on fourth thanks to the help of Lucas Auer acting as his rear gunner in fifth.

"Qualifying went well, but then after that, it was a tough day for me, unfortunately. I lost a lot of downforce on the rear of the car after the contact with Ekstr?m," said Di Resta.

"That meant I had to fight the whole race. Luckily, I was subsequently able to keep out of trouble. The pit stop was super, and Lucas helped me to defend myself against drivers from opposing teams attacking from behind. Many thanks to him for that. Such moments can decide championships."

The HWA driver now moves back up into third place in the title chase - just five points shy of Marco Wittmann - as the series heads to Zandvoort in three weeks time.