Hockenheim DTM: Auer dominates, disaster for van der Linde

Mercedes driver Lucas Auer romped to a dominant victory in the second DTM race at Hockenheim, as Liam Lawson snatched the championship lead following a disastrous race for Kelvin van der Linde.

Hockenheim DTM: Auer dominates, disaster for van der Linde

Starting second on the grid, Auer wasted little time to pass the heavy-ballasted Audi of polesitter van der Linde, diving down the inside of the Abt Sportsline driver into Turn 2 to take the lead of the race.

Once in front there was no catching Auer, the Winward Mercedes driver leading all laps outside the pitstop cycle to clinch a seventh career win in the DTM - and second in as many weekends.

The Austrian driver’s run to victory was made easy by title contenders van der Linde and Lawson battling for second in the opening laps of the race, with the South African having to aggressively defend his position with 25kg of extra weight on his car.

Lawson managed to overtake van der Linde into the Turn 7 right-hander on the opening lap, only for the Audi driver to strike back at the following turn.

Both stepped up their aggression on the next lap, banging wheels as they exited the hairpin at Turn 6. There was more contact under braking for the Turn 8 left-hander, van der Linde tagging the back of Lawson and unsettling his Ferrari - before overtaking him into the apex of the corner.

The stewards took note of the incident and handed van der Linde a five-second penalty, effectively leaving him out of the fight for second place.

Lawson wouldn’t need the penalty to pass van der Linde, however, as a slow pitstop for the Abt Sportsline driver would allow him to jump back ahead of him.

Once in clear air, the AF Corse Ferrari driver couldn’t do much about Auer's lead up front, but the second-place finish allows him to take a significant 14-point lead in the final round of the season at the Norisring next week.

Liam Lawson, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo

Liam Lawson, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo

Photo by: DTM

Lawson’s title hopes were boosted by van der Linde hitting more trouble later in the race, eventually slipping to 10th at the flag.

With the extra weight on his Audi, van der Linde was passed by Mercedes cars of Maximilian Gotz, Daniel Juncadella and Philip Ellis, leaving him sixth on the road. But it was a five-second penalty for not serving his previous sanction in the pits that struck more damage, dropping him a further four places in the final classifications.

Gotz finished third behind Lawson to keep his title hopes alive heading into the final round of the season, while Auer’s tea-mmate Ellis passed Juncadella on the final lap to finish fourth.

Alex Albon finished a respectable sixth in the AF Corse Ferrari despite carrying 18kg of ballast, beating DTM debutant Michael Dienst, who picked up his first championship points as a substitute for Mucke Motorsport regular Maximilian Buhk.

The top 10 was rounded out by GetSpeed’s Arjun Maini, HRT driver Vincent Abril and van der Linde.

Marco Wittmann’s hopes of winning the DTM title are all but over after the Walkenhorst BMW driver finished outside of the points for a second race in a row, not helped by a five-second penalty for a pitstop infringement.

After engine issues left him near the bottom of the grid, 2016/17 Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi finished 18th in his wildcard outing for Abt Sportsline Audi.

Hockenheim DTM - Race 2 results

Cla Driver Car Laps Time Gap
1 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 34 57'33.498  
2 New Zealand Liam Lawson Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 34 57'39.886 6.388
3 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 34 57'45.578 12.080
4 United Kingdom Philip Ellis Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 34 57'46.246 12.748
5 Spain Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 34 57'46.859 13.361
6 Thailand Alex Albon Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 34 57'48.741 15.243
7 Germany Marvin Dienst Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 34 57'50.955 17.457
8 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 34 57'52.916 19.418
9 France Vincent Abril Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 34 57'55.613 22.115
10 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo 34 57'57.659 24.161
11 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi R8 LMS Evo 34 58'00.614 27.116
12 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M6 GT3 34 58'00.758 27.260
13 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo 34 58'01.608 28.110
14 Germany Hubert Haupt Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 34 58'20.225 46.727
15 Germany Timo Glock BMW M6 GT3 34 58'24.456 50.958
16 United Kingdom Esmee Hawkey Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 34 58'31.640 58.142
17 United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo 34 58'35.384 1'01.886
18 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi R8 LMS Evo 26 44'43.187 8 Laps
19 Belgium Esteban Muth BMW M6 GT3 16 27'41.260 18 Laps
20 Germany Sophia Flörsch Audi R8 LMS Evo 4 7'04.336 30 Laps
21 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M6 GT3 2 4'08.168 32 Laps
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