There was no love lost within the Team Phoenix ranks as Alex Prémat punted team-mate Oliver Jarvis off at the first corner in the heat of battle for eighth. While the Frenchman went straight on himself, Jarvis' car became stuck in the gravel, the Briton joining compatriot Legge in retirement. Premat made it back to the pits, where he too retired.
While Legge and Paffett both fell under investigation for their part in the first turn melee, another Briton, Susie Stoddart, was penalised for speeding under yellow flags, earning a drive-thru', which she took on lap 13.
Fellow Scot Paul di Resta beat Stoddart into the pits, however, beginning the mandatory stops along with Bakkerud, before the floodgates opened and the rest of the field gradually made their stops. Kristensen retired during his visit and, two laps later, was joined on the sidelines by di Resta, who lost his rear wing on the main straight and ploughed into the gravel trap at turn one.
Ekström was the first of the frontrunners to pit, stopping on lap 20, one lap before both Tomczyk and Scheider into the pits. While the champion rejoined just in front of Ekström, there was no such trouble for Tomczyk, who resumed in front.
Green was the last driver to come in for his first stop, at this point not a threat for either points or leading Mercedes honours, but the second round of stops would sort that. After the first round, Tomczyk led from Scheider, Ekström, Winkelhock, Spengler, Schumacher, Lauda, Paffett and Mike Rockenfeller, before the Briton peeled off for his second stop on lap 24.
Tomczyk and Green both pitted ten laps later, with the German poised to resume as leader once the stops cycled through, and Green rejoining just ahead of Spengler. Once Scheider, Ekström and Schumacher had pitted next time around, the order was Tomczyk leading from the champion, with Ekström, Winkelhock, Green, Spengler, Schumacher, Paffett, Lauda and Rockenfeller chasing in their wake.
Although Scheider closed up on Tomczyk, the leader held firm to claim his fourth DTM victory as Audi again upset the Mercedes applecart.