Lausitzring DTM: Ellis scores Mercedes' first win since 2018

Philip Ellis scored Mercedes’ first DTM victory since 2018 with a charging drive from ninth on the grid in the first race at the Lausitzring for the Winward HTP team.

Lausitzring DTM: Ellis scores Mercedes' first win since 2018

Ellis had moved from his mid-grid starting position to fifth in the opening laps, before the safety car was deployed when Esmee Hawkey (T3 Motorsport Lamborghini) crashed heavily into the concrete wall.

Up ahead, Sheldon van der Linde had made a clean start from pole position in the Rowe Racing BMW, leading the Abt Sportsline Audi of elder brother Kelvin van der Linde as Hawkey's team-mate Esteban Muth and Red Bull junior Liam Lawson battled over third.

But when the action resumed, Ellis was on the move, laying the foundation to his first series win.

The German-born Swiss took the inside line into the banked Turn 1 to pass both Muth and Mike Rockenfeller (Abt Audi) in one move, then passed Kelvin van der Linde under braking for Turn 2.

After the mandatory round of pitstops, polesitter Sheldon van der Linde appeared to lose pace relative to the chasing pack, allowing Ellis to take the lead into the opening turn on lap 20.

Lawson, who had recovered from a difficult opening few laps with a rapid stop in the AF Corse Ferrari, also managed to pass the ailing BMW driver for second, setting up a two-way fight for victory.

The 19-year-old South African initially kept Ellis honest as they circulated at the head of the pack, but the Mercedes managed to pull clear for a first win by the Three Pointed Star since its title-winning 2018 season with Gary Paffett.

Behind Ellis and Lawson, Sheldon van der Linde held off 2013 DTM champion Rockenfeller to finish third on the road, but a five-second penalty for a pitstop infringement dropped him down to ninth.

Sheldon van der Linde, ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3

Sheldon van der Linde, ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Rockenfeller to the final spot on the podium ahead of team-mate Kelvin van der Linde, who lost several places during the pitstop cycle, and Alex Albon in the second Red Bull-liveried Ferrari.

Ellis’ team-mate Lucas Auer ended up sixth ahead of two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann (Walkenhorst BMW), with T3 Motorsport driver Muth slipping to eighth at the flag.

A mid-race pass on Rowe Racing’s Timo Glock gave Mucke Motorsport Mercedes driver Maximilian Buhk the final point in 10th.

The victory for Ellis came on an otherwise disappointing day for Mercedes, as Arjun Maini (Getspeed), Daniel Juncadella (GruppeM) and Haupt Racing Team drivers Vincent Abril and Maximilian Gotz all failed to finish.

The 2020 series runner up Nico Muller (Team Rosberg Audi) was unable to recover from his poor qualifying effort and was the last of the classified finishers in 13th, after making a late pitstop two laps from the finish.

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