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Race report
DTM Lausitzring

DTM Lausitzring: Preining outsmarts Audi duo for first win of title defence

Porsche driver Thomas Preining defeated the Abt Audis of Ricardo Feller and Kelvin van der Linde to win Sunday’s DTM race at the Lausitzring.

Manthey EMA’s Preining fell behind both Feller and van de Linde at one stage, but quickly repassed the duo to claim his first win of 2024 and move into second in the standings.

At the start of the race, the reigning champion pulled away cleanly from pole position to hold the lead over Feller, but couldn’t shake off the Swiss driver and race one winner van der Linde, who had got the jump on the SSR Performance Lamborghini of Mirko Bortolotti.

At the start of lap four, Feller positioned his Audi around the outside of Preining’s Porsche into Turn 1, which gave him the inside line into the following right-hander. Despite running slightly over the grass, Feller succeeded in barging past the Austrian, snatching the lead for the first time in the race.

A brief safety car period triggered by Clemens Schmid’s Dorr McLaren threatened to upset the status quo, but it wasn’t until the pit window opened after 20 minutes of racing that the order at the front changed again.

Preining was the first of the leaders to dive into the pits, with Feller and van der Linde following him in on successive laps.

Feller did manage to retain the lead initially out of the pits, but Preining’s tyres were already up to temperature and he found a way past the Audi on lap 18 to grab the top spot back.

However, the time they spent battling on track left them vulnerable to an overcut from van der Linde, who duly leapfrogged both by completing his mandatory pitstop a lap later.

This left Preining sandwiched by the two Abt drivers and with the risk of losing second place as well. But the 25-year-old managed to outfox his rivals, streaming past van der Linde with a bold move at the hairpin to make the decisive pass for victory.

Race winner Thomas Preining, Manthey EMA

Race winner Thomas Preining, Manthey EMA

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Feller also cleared van der Linde a few corners later, although the stewards later asked him to hand back the position for an illegal overtake.

Before Feller and van der Linde could trade spots, the safety car was deployed yet again, this time for a collision between Maximilian Paul and Luca Stolz that left both cars beached in the gravel at Turn 6.

It was only when the race resumed with 13 minutes left on the clock that Feller could give way to his team-mate, by which time Preining had already mastered the restart to cement his position at the front.

Van der Linde, despite having 20kg of success ballast after his victory on Saturday, kept the pressure up on Preining till the end, but the factory Porsche driver was relatively untroubled as he took the chequered flag with a winning margin of 1.4s.

Feller ended up a further 1.5s back, while Bortolotti took fourth in the sole-surviving SSR Lamborghini after team-mate Nicki Thiim was forced to retire early with a brake issue.

Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast managed to drag his Schubert BMW to as high as fifth after starting 13th on the grid, but an ill-fated passing attempt on Bortolotti at the final turn allowed the GRT Lamborghini of Luca Englster to take advantage and complete the top five.

Rast still managed to finish as the top BMW in sixth ahead of the Winward Mercedes of Maro Engel, who put in an even more impressive recovery drive after being shuffled to the back of the grid for a technical infringement in qualifying.

Rast's BMW team-mates Sheldon van der Linde and Marco Wittmann were eighth and ninth respectively, while Lucas Auer completed the top 10 in the second Winward Mercedes.

Only 16 cars finished the race, meaning everyone except 16th-placed Ben Dorr (Dorr McLaren) scored points.

DTM Lausitzring Race Results

   
1
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4
   
   
1
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2
   
Cla Driver # Car Laps Time Interval Pits Points
1 Austria T. Preining Manthey EMA 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R 42

1:01'51.739

    25
2 South Africa K. van der Linde Abt Sportsline 3 Audi R8 LMS Evo II 42

+1.441

1:01'53.180

1.441   20
3 Switzerland R. Feller Abt Sportsline 7 Audi R8 LMS Evo II 42

+3.083

1:01'54.822

1.642   16
4 Italy M. Bortolotti SSR Performance 92 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 42

+3.721

1:01'55.460

0.638   13
5 Germany L. Engstler GRT Grasser Racing Team 19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 42

+7.501

1:01'59.240

3.780   11
6 Germany R. Rast Schubert Motorsport 33 BMW M4 GT3 42

+8.604

1:02'00.343

1.103   10
7 Germany M. Engel Mercedes-AMG Team Winward 130 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 42

+10.639

1:02'02.378

2.035   9
8 South Africa S. Van Der Linde Schubert Motorsport 31 BMW M4 GT3 42

+11.504

1:02'03.243

0.865   8
9 Germany M. Wittmann Schubert Motorsport 11 BMW M4 GT3 42

+13.496

1:02'05.235

1.992   7
10 Austria L. Auer Mercedes-AMG Team Mann-Filter 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 42

+14.143

1:02'05.882

0.647   6
11 Turkey A. Güven Manthey EMA 90 Porsche 911 GT3 R 42

+15.786

1:02'07.525

1.643   5
12 India A. Maini Mercedes-AMG Team HRT 36 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 42

+16.138

1:02'07.877

0.352   4
13
T. Vermeulen Emil Frey Racing
69 Ferrari 296 GT3 42

+16.668

1:02'08.407

0.530   3
14 United Kingdom J. Aitken Emil Frey Racing 14 Ferrari 296 GT3 42

+17.081

1:02'08.820

0.413   2
15 Germany C. Engelhart GRT Grasser Racing Team 63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 42

+17.722

1:02'09.461

0.641   1
16
B. Dörr Dörr Motorsport
25 McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 42

+22.206

1:02'13.945

4.484    
dnf Germany P. Maximilian Paul Motorsport 71 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 18

+24 Laps

26'53.650

24 Laps    
dnf Germany L. Stolz Mercedes-AMG Team HRT 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 18

+24 Laps

27'27.136

33.486    
dnf Austria C. Schmid Dörr Motorsport 85 McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 3

+39 Laps

4'27.173

15 Laps    
dnf Denmark N. Thiim SSR Performance 94 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 3

+39 Laps

4'43.913

16.740    

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