Joel finished 12th in a turbulent first DTM race of the weekend at Lausitzring, in which reigning champion René Rast survived a horror crash.
The accident occurred on lap six as Rast, running immediately behind Joel, battled for position in the closely-matched midfield.
Rast’s Audi was forced wide on the exit of Turn 3, clattered the kerb and outside grass, and somersaulted spectacularly in the air before coming to a halt in a cloud of smoke and dust.
Rast thankfully escaped serious injury, but his car was severely damaged and the race was red-flagged.
Once racing resumed, Joel – who had started 11th but made up a couple of positions on the opening laps – opted for an alternative strategy, taking his mandatory pit stop as late as on the penultimate lap.
While worth a try, the strategy ultimately backfired as Joel struggled on heavily worn tyres at the end of the massive first stint.
He eventually finished 12th, one place ahead of Audi’s Robin Frijns who attempted an even more aggressive strategy by pitting on the final tour.
Mercedes driver Edoardo Mortara claimed victory, while BMW could celebrate having Timo Glock and Philipp Eng on the podium.
Sunday sees a new day of DTM action take centre stage at Lausitzring – don’t miss out.
Results – Race 1
WEEKEND TIME TABLE
All times local (GMT+02:00)
DTM | Round 2
Friday 18 May
Free Practice 1: 17.00-17.30
Saturday 19 May
Free Practice 2: 09.15-09.45
Qualifying 1: 11.10-11.30
Race 1: 13.30-14.30
Sunday 20 May
Free Practice 3: 09.00-09.30
Qualifying 2: 11.25-11.45
Race 2: 13.30-14.30