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DTM Sachsenring

DTM Sachsenring: Bortolotti strikes back with victory ahead of Stolz

Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti hit back from a rough Saturday to claim a third win of the DTM season in Sunday's second race at the Sachsenring in Germany.

Another steamy afternoon on an abrasive track not known for its overtaking opportunities began – perhaps inevitably under these circumstances – with multiple cars in the gravel trap in the first sequence of corners.

Two separate incidents at the 'Omega' right-hander meant an early red flag and a handful of cars – including the likes of BMW racer Sheldon van der Linde and Mercedes man Maro Engel - would be unable to take the restart.

With the field having crossed a timing beam before the red flag was thrown, the race resumed behind the safety car in the same order that had been established during the brief first attempt: Bortolotti, Luca Stolz and Jack Aitken, whose attempt to grab the lead around the outside of the first corner had cost the Ferrari driver a place at the initial start.

Bortolotti was in charge from the restart all the way to the flag. Though his chasers kept him in sight for most of the day, he stretched his lead out to around three seconds just before ducking into the pits one lap after the window opened.

A smooth stop by his SSR Performance team enabled him to emerge comfortably ahead of his rivals, all of whom also stopped early in the window.

The Italian did have a mid-race scare when he noticed his oil pressure dropping. His team was at a loss to explain it, and told him to race on as best he could.

His lead dropped to under a second at around three-quarter distance, but Bortolotti was able to extend it to more than a second once again and manage the gap to the end.

Saturday winner Stolz, whose Team HRT Mercedes was saddled with 20kg of success ballast for this race, led the chasing pack throughout the afternoon.

Jack Aitken, Emil Frey Racing Ferrari Ferrari 296 GT3

Jack Aitken, Emil Frey Racing Ferrari Ferrari 296 GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

The most exciting moment of the race came when Aitken tried to change that situation after emerging from his pitstop alongside Stolz, who had come in one lap earlier.

Aitken raced side-by-side with Stolz throughout the first complex of corners, using more than just the asphalt at one point. Then it all unravelled as they emerged from Omega: Stolz finally shook off the Briton, who then had a small moment in the first of the long series of left-handers.

Abt Audi's Ricardo Feller saw this as an opportunity, went for a half-gap and hit Aitken's left rear. The damage was enough to put the Ferrari out of the race.

From that point onwards, the podium was set, with Feller following Stolz home ahead of Franck Perera (SSR Performance).

Thomas Preining had taken the championship lead from Bortolotti after the latter could only manage ninth on Saturday, following ABS problems and a penalty.

The Manthey EMA man took fifth in Sunday's race despite heavy pressure from Thierry Vermeulen's Ferrari in the second half of the contest – but it wasn't enough to prevent Bortolotti from returning to the top of the points table ahead of the penultimate race weekend in Austria.

Race result:

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver # Car Laps Time Interval Pits Points
1 Italy M. Bortolotti SSR Performance 92 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 46       25
2 Germany L. Stolz Mercedes-AMG Team HRT 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 46 1.541     20
3 Switzerland R. Feller Abt Sportsline 7 Audi R8 LMS Evo II 46 0.627     16
4
F. Perera SSR Performance
94 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 46 0.469     13
5 Austria T. Preining Manthey EMA 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R 46 2.107     11
6
T. Vermeulen Emil Frey Racing
69 Ferrari 296 GT3 46 0.541     10
7 India A. Maini Mercedes-AMG Team HRT 36 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 46 2.418     9
8 Germany R. Rast Schubert Motorsport 33 BMW M4 GT3 46 2.377     8
9
J. Owega Mercedes-AMG Team Landgraf
84 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 46 2.180     7
10 Switzerland P. Niederhauser Tresor Orange1 83 Audi R8 LMS Evo II 46 1.004     6
11 Germany D. Schumacher Mercedes-AMG Team Winward 27 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 46 6.214     5
12 Germany M. Wittmann Project 1 Motorsport 11 BMW M4 GT3 46 2.569     4
13 South Africa K. van der Linde Abt Sportsline 3 Audi R8 LMS Evo II 46 0.356     3
14
T. Heinemann Toksport WRT
9 Porsche 911 GT3 R 46 4.503     2
15 Austria L. Auer Mercedes-AMG Team Winward 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 46 5.717     1
16
S. Holzem Project 1 Motorsport
56 BMW M4 GT3 46 17.586      
17 Austria C. Schmid GRT Grasser Racing Team 63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 46 0.849      
18 Italy A. Deledda SSR Performance 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 45 1 lap      
19 Germany L. Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler 8 Audi R8 LMS Evo II 31 14 laps      
20 Italy M. Drudi Tresor Orange1 40 Audi R8 LMS Evo II 30 1 lap      
21 United Kingdom J. Aitken Emil Frey Racing 14 Ferrari 296 GT3 17 13 laps      
22 Turkey A. Güven KÜS Team Bernhard 24 Porsche 911 GT3 R 16 1 lap      
23 Norway D. Olsen Manthey EMA 90 Porsche 911 GT3 R 2 14 laps      
24 Germany M. Engel Mercedes-AMG Team Landgraf 48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1 1 lap      
  South Africa S. Van Der Linde Schubert Motorsport 1 BMW M4 GT3 0        
  Germany L. Heinrich KÜS Team Bernhard 75 Porsche 911 GT3 R 0        
  Germany M. Dienst Toksport WRT 99 Porsche 911 GT3 R 0        

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