Having been cruelly robbed of a victory with a technical downside within the earlier spherical on the Lausitzring, van der Linde loved a trouble-free run in Belgium to increase his lead on the prime of the championship.
At first of the race, the South African resisted the advances of a fast-starting Marco Wittmann – who had dispatched the Mercedes of Maximilian Gotz for second – to carry the lead into the opening set of corners.
His closest factors rival Liam Lawson, nonetheless, wasn’t as fortunate, with a gradual begin from tenth on the grid firmly dropping him to the decrease areas of the midfield. That meant when the Pink Bull-backed driver tried to keep away from the melee that ensued on the chicane, he was unfortunate to be rear-ended by the Mercedes of Arjun Maini, bringing his race to an abrupt finish.
A protracted security automobile adopted, earlier than the motion resumed with a rolling begin on lap six.
Van der Linde once more got here below severe stress from the Walkenhorst BMW of Wittmann, the two-time champion practically drawing alongside the South African as they navigated the primary nook. However van der Linde had the within line going into Flip 2, permitting him to retain the lead of the race.
The 2 dived into the pitlane on the similar time on lap seven, rejoining the sphere nose-to-nail. Nonetheless, Wittmann was handed on chilly tyres by the HRT Mercedes of Vincent Abril – who had stopped a lap earlier – bringing his battle with van der Linde to an early finish.
Wittmann went on to lose extra locations when Rockenfeller and AF Corse Ferrari driver Albon acquired the leap on him with an overcut, the duo additionally leapfrogging Abril within the course of.
This paved the best way for a three-way battle for victory, with van der Linde main Rockenfeller and Albon as they pulled away from the remainder of the sphere.
Albon had the freshest tyres of the trio however was unable to seek out his well beyond Rockenfeller to assault the opposite Abt Audi of van der Linde, regardless of the race being prolonged to make up for the misplaced time below security automobile.
Alex Albon, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo
Picture by: DTM
That meant the South African was in a position to declare his second victory within the DTM in 5 begins, with 2013 champion Rockenfeller finishing a 1-2 for the factory-supported Abt crew.
Third place marked Albon’s second podium within the DTM, having been retrospectively awarded third place at Monza following Abril’s disqualification from the season-opener.
Behind the main trio, Abril completed fourth after efficiently holding off Wittmann, whereas team-mate Maximilian Gotz was unable to benefit from a front-row begin, slipping to sixth on the flag.
T3 Lamborghini driver Esteban Muth, operating a particular artwork livery designed by Princess Delphine of Belgium, completed seventh forward of Winward Mercedes duo Philip Ellis and Lucas Auer, whereas Crew Rosberg’s Nico Muller accomplished the highest 10.
Ex-Formulation 1 driver Christian Klien (JP Motorsport) completed twelfth on his and McLaren’s debut within the DTM.