Augusto Farfus secured his maiden DTM victory today after dominating around the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, while Bruno Spengler reduced Gary Paffett's championship to just three points with one round to go.
Farfus, who started from pole position, immediately streaked away at the front ahead of Audi's Edoardo Mortara, eventually pulling a five-second cushion over the Audi man and never relinquishing his lead through the pit-stop windows, to claim an impressive opening DTM win.
Mortara, who looked set to claim an equally easy second position, was let down by his Rosberg-run Audi with just seven laps to go, promoting Adrien Tambay to a career best result in second place.
Last year's Valencia winner, Mattias Ekstrom, took the final step on the rostrum.
Filipe Albuquerque and Mike Rockenfeller took fourth and fifth as the Audi's monopolised the points' paying positions.
Bruno Spengler pulled off a magnificent recovery drive to sixth position despite falling down to 15th after being handed a drive-through penalty for being judged to have jumped the start.
The Canadian, after hauling himself through the field, found himself behind Rahel Frey, who was enjoying her strongest race to date in seventh and chasing BMW's Andy Priaulx. A combination of a fantastic piece of opportunistic driving and BMW teamwork spectacularly handed Spengler sixth position while Frey and Priaulx traded bodywork through the next few corners.
Priaulx eventually had to give way to a fired up Frey, handing the female driver her highest DTM finish in seventh while the three-time WTCC champion followed home in eighth.
That sequence of events ensured Spengler closed the gap to just three points behind Paffett, setting up a sure to be thrilling finale to the season in Hockenheim.
Dirk Werner produced a steady drive to ninth, collecting more valuable points for BMW, while Jamie Green crossed the line as the highest place Mercedes in tenth after inheriting the final point from David Coulthard.
Green still remains in the title race, 18 points off the championship summit.
Paffett continued his miserable weekend with a calamitous race. The Brit eventually retired after receiving a two-second stop-go penalty for his tangle with Joey Hand, which also left the HWA-run Mercedes with damage.
Fellow retirees included BMW man Martin Tomczyk, who spun out of the race during the first lap mealy, while Timo Scheider's Audi gave up the ghost on lap 29.
by Simon Evans