Mercedes' Lucas Auer celebrated his 22nd birthday by securing his second DTM podium of the season at the Nurburgring.
The Team Mucke driver came within eight-laps of successfully converting his superb pole position in his second win of the 2016 season. But Auer was powerless in keeping the fresher tyre Audi RS 5 of Edoardo Mortara at bay during the final laps.
Auer had already worked hard in managing to keep Marco Wittmann, Bruno Spengler and Mortara behind his Mercedes C63 Coupe during the opening stint.
However, like his BMW rivals, Auer made his stop over 10-laps before Mortara, making him easy prey as the race reached its climax.
"Pole position again and second place in the race – a great way for me to celebrate my birthday. Early on, I had to defend hard against the BMW," said Auer.
"I gave it everything I'd got and stayed ahead. After that, I even managed to pull out a small lead over Marco Wittmann, and I thought it would be enough. But then Edoardo Mortara came flying on fresh tyres. I had no chance against that.
"All the same, I'm happy with second place. It's a great result for our team."
Auer's first podium finish since his Lausitzring win has moved the Austrian towards the fringes of the top-ten in the championship on 68-points.
The 22-year old was consistently Mercedes' best hope of taking the fight to BMW and Audi over the Nurburgring weekend.