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Race report
DTM Zandvoort

DTM Zandvoort: Aitken keeps clear of Rast for victory in opener

Jack Aitken has become the first driver to win twice in the 2024 DTM season after taking victory in Zandvoort’s hour-long opening race.

Jack Aitken, Emil Frey Racing Ferrari Ferrari 296 GT3

The former Formula 1 driver remained in control throughout for a dominant victory from pole in his Emil Frey Ferrari to add to his win at the Oschersleben season opener.

Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast finished second for his first podium of the season, as Arjun Maini completed the top three ahead of Sunday’s race.

As the lights went out for the fifth round of the campaign, Aitken pulled away cleanly as second-placed Clemens Schmid thwarted an attack from Maini in the opening corners.

Aitken gradually gained 2.1 seconds on Schmid in the opening 11 minutes, as Rast showed strong pace further back after jumping from seventh to fourth during that period.

But overtaking proved difficult due to the tightness of the Dutch circuit, as drivers kept position until the pitstop window 21 minutes into the race.

Schmid was first of the frontrunners to pit but this proved costly, as Aitken pulled nine seconds clear after switching tyres the following lap.

The Dorr McLaren driver then dropped another position when Rast pitted the tour after Aitken, while Maini completed another lap before boxing.

Arjun Maini, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3

Arjun Maini, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

The long overcut appeared to be a masterstroke, as the Mercedes driver left the pitlane just ahead of Aitken, but he was able to regain the lead from Maini at the earliest opportunity around the outside of Turn 3.

Maini lost second to Rast 10 minutes later when the Schubert BMW moved down the inside of Turn 1, before focusing on Aitken who was 2s clear with 23 minutes remaining.

Rast failed to make any significant gains though as Aitken crossed the line 2.3s ahead to move up to third in the championship standings.

Maini was a further 3.2s behind, while Schmid missed out on his maiden DTM podium in fourth.

Lucas Auer completed the top five ahead of 2022 champion Sheldon van der Linde in sixth, while Marco Wittmann claimed seventh after overtaking Riccardo Feller down the inside of Turn 1 with 13 minutes left.

Mirko Bortolotti and Luca Stolz completed the top 10, while championship leader Kelvin van der Linde finished 14th.

DTM Zandvoort - Race 1 results (39 laps)

 Cla   Driver   Car / Engine   Race Time   Gap 
1 Jack Aitken Ferrari 1h02m25.078s  
2 René Rast BMW 1h02m28.002s 2.924s
3 Arjun Maini Mercedes 1h02m31.010s 5.932s
4 Clemens Schmid McLaren 1h02m35.275s 10.197s
5 Lucas Auer Mercedes 1h02m36.570s 11.492s
6 S.van der Linde BMW 1h02m38.869s 13.791s
7 Marco Wittmann BMW 1h02m39.584s 14.506s
8 Ricardo Feller Audi 1h02m52.315s 27.237s
9 Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini 1h02m52.708s 27.630s
10 Luca Stolz Mercedes 1h02m53.258s 28.180s
11 Maro Engel Mercedes 1h02m53.496s 28.418s
12 Nicki Thiim Lamborghini 1h02m57.366s 32.288s
13 K.van der Linde Audi 1h03m00.046s 34.968s
14 Thomas Preining Porsche 1h03m00.415s 35.337s
15 T.Vermeulen Ferrari 1h03m00.801s 35.723s
16 Ben Dörr McLaren 1h03m01.317s 36.239s
17 Ayhancan Guven Porsche 1h01m36.156s +1 lap
Ret Luca Engstler Lamborghini 26m57.851s Retirement
Ret Maximilian Paul Lamborghini 22m24.227s Retirement
Ret C.Engelhart Lamborghini 23m42.602s Retirement

 

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