Joel kept up his momentum of scoring points at each DTM round so far in 2018 by coming home ninth in the first race of the weekend at Norisring.
From 11th on the grid, Joel made a good start to leap into the top ten, despite being squeezed into the wall on the exit of the Grundig hairpin in the congestion of the opening lap.
The field was effectively cut up from the start thanks to a wide variety of strategies, with Joel running as high as second at one point before stopping for his compulsory tyre change on lap 20 of 68.
He re-joined behind BMW stablemate Timo Glock, a frontunner in the title race this season, but was visibly quicker than the German and duly made his way past a few laps later.
Joel then bridged the gap to a four-car train ahead, joining a scrap for fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth that involved Philipp Eng, Bruno Spengler, Lucas Auer and Daniel Juncadella.
The quintet ran nose to tail for the last 15 laps, but the order remained unchanged and Joel eventually took the flag in ninth.
In doing so, he adds two further championship points to his name, taking his season tally thus far to 25.
At the front, Edoardo Mortara – competing in his 100th DTM race – converted pole position to victory ahead of Mercedes team-mate Gary Paffett. BMW could celebrate a podium courtesy of local man Marco Wittmann.
Results – Race 1
WEEKEND TIME TABLE
All times local (GMT+02:00)
DTM | Round 4
Friday 22 June
Free Practice 1: 16.30-17.00
Saturday 23 June
Free Practice 2: 08.30-09.00
Qualifying 1: 10.20-10.40
Race 1: 13.30-14.30
Sunday 24 June
Free Practice 3: 08.30-09.00
Qualifying 2: 11.10-11.30
Race 2: 13.30-14.30