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DTM Nurburgring: Van der Linde wins after Bortolotti, Fraga clash

Sheldon van der Linde capitalised on late contact between duelling leaders Felipe Fraga and Mirko Borolotti to take victory and reclaim the DTM points lead at the Nurburgring.

Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3

Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3

DTM

After a delay of several hours caused by looming fog, which had caused qualifying to be cancelled with the race started in order of championship positions, the battle for victory looked set to be decided between Fraga’s Red Bull Ferrari and the polesitting Grasser Lamborghini of Bortolotti.

The Italian appeared to be the quicker of the two approaching the closing stages and went for a move up the inside of the final corner on lap 29 of 38, but Fraga shut the door.

Both cars spun in the resulting contact, with Bortolotti stranded in the middle of the road, but Schubert BMW driver Van der Linde managed to avoid the carnage and secured a third win of the season by 1.928s.

His brother Kelvin van der Linde made use of a late stop to vault up from 19th in the early phases to finish second in his Abt Audi, as his team-mate Ricardo Feller beat defending champion Max Gotz’s Winward Mercedes to complete the podium in third.

At the start, Fraga made superb early progress from sixth on the grid and appeared to get his tyres up to temperature quicker than the cars around him as he led before the end of the lap.

The Brazilian had nosed between van der Linde and Rene Rast (Abt Audi) to take second at Turn 2 on the opening lap and then zapped Bortolotti for the lead into the chicane, the pair continuing to run line astern throughout the opening stint.

Lucas Auer initially ran third in his Winward Mercedes, but slipped backwards behind Sheldon van der Linde, Thomas Prening (who later retired with splitter damage on his Bernhard Porsche) and Gotz before starting the pit sequence on lap nine.

Fraga was first of the leaders to pit on lap 20, with Bortolotti following suit on the next tour. The Lamborghini briefly emerged ahead, but with his tyres already up to temperature Fraga snuck past around the outside of Turn 3.

Mirko Bortolotti, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan EVO GT3, Felipe Fraga, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo

Mirko Bortolotti, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan EVO GT3, Felipe Fraga, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo

Photo by: DTM

Sheldon van der Linde had pitted on lap 17 and had to pass Gotz – also struggling with tyre warm-up fresh out of the pits - before setting off after the leading pair.

Rast had also leapfrogged Gotz by pitting on the same lap as Bortolotti, but was coming under huge pressure from the Mercedes and Laurens Vanthoor’s SSR Porsche when the Belgian misjudged his braking for Turn 3 and tapped Rast into a spin, which also forced Gotz wide and allowed Feller to sneak ahead.

Auer finished fifth, while Philipp Eng (Schubert BMW) held off a charging Nick Cassidy (Red Bull Ferrari) for sixth after a spirited battle that included three-wide contact with Rast at one point.

The three-time champion eventually finished ninth, behind Marco Wittmann, after an eventful race. He had earlier made contact with Nico Muller that forced the Rosberg Audi to retire with a puncture and tapped Dennis Olsen’s SSR Porsche sideways to bend the Norwegian’s steering after they had run three-wide with Gotz at the hairpin.

DTM Nurburgring Race 1 Results - 38 laps

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 57'04.374  
2 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 57'06.302 1.928
3 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 57'12.806 8.432
4 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'13.258 8.884
5 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'15.525 11.151
6 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 GT3 57'22.847 18.473
7 New Zealand Nick Cassidy Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 57'23.494 19.120
8 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 57'23.927 19.553
9 Germany René Rast Audi R8 LMS Evo II 57'25.342 20.968
10 Canada Mikael Grenier Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'26.287 21.913
11 Germany Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'26.696 22.322
12 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 57'27.171 22.797
13 Belgium Esteban Muth BMW M4 GT3 57'28.571 24.197
14 Germany Marius Zug Audi R8 LMS Evo II 57'30.196 25.822
15 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'30.791 26.417
16 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'32.234 27.860
17 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'32.726 28.352
18 Switzerland Rolf Ineichen Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 57'33.764 29.390
19 Theo Oeverhaus BMW M4 GT3 57'51.753 47.379
20 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 57'52.607 48.233
  Brazil Felipe Fraga Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 50'23.162 5 Laps
  Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 42'26.630 10 Laps
  United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo II 38'29.126 13 Laps
  Belgium Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 911 GT3 R 36'02.177 15 Laps
  Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R 24'20.105 22 Laps
  Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 13'50.280 30 Laps
  Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 11'10.937 31 Laps
  Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R 5'10.003 35 Laps

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