A spin on lap three of the final DTM race of the weekend from Monza cost Liam Lawson a chance at a second race win.
Lawson was battling with the Lamborghini Huracan of Esteban Muth heading into the second chicane when the two made slight contact, and the Kiwi was pitched into a spin.
Everyone did exceptionally well to avoid the stricken Ferrari, and Lawson could r-join the race, albeit now in dead last.
From there, he could only recover to finish 14th, suggesting the 55kg weight penalty he took after Saturday’s win made for a challenging Sunday.
Lawson had started on the front row following a thrilling qualifying that witnessed him missing out on pole by less than a tenth.
The Red Bull Junior got the better launch from the rolling start than polesitter Kelvin van der Linde and stuck the Ferrari’s nose into the lead on the approach to turn one.
However, Lawson ran deep and had to jump on the brake to pull himself up in time for the opening corner, allowing van der Linde to claim an early lead.
Lawson then engaged in battle with Nico Muller on lap two, which saw them run side-by-side through the first sequence of corners and into the second chicane.
The Kiwi was on the inside of the corner, and Muller held his nerve to stay with Lawson around the outside of the first part of the chicane.
Muller and Lawson exited the chicane wheel-to-wheel, but a sneaky Sheldon van der Linde had closed in the duel and made a bold lunge to snatch both positions at the very next corner.
Lawson was then powerless to resist Muller, dropping to third on the same lap before having his incident with Muth on the next tour.
Up in the lead, Kelvin van der Linde eased home to his maiden DTM victory on his 25th birthday.
Muller pulled off an undercut strategy to get ahead of Sheldon van der Linde, and the two crossed the line 2nd and 3rd.
Lawson’s teammate Alex Albon was seventh.
Kelvin van der Linde has a nine-point advantage over Lawson in the driver’s standings, with Muller five points adrift.
The second round of the championship will be at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz (formerly the Lausitzring) on July 24-25.