(Motorsport-Total.com) – A sweeping victory for Porsche in Sunday’s race at the 2023 DTM season-opener at Oschersleben: Four Porsche 911 GT3 Rs took the top four spots in race two at Motosportarena. Christian Engelhart (Toksport-Porsche) took his first DTM win from seventh on the grid. (result of the second race)
Christian Englehart achieved the victory with the highest strategy and penalty kick
The Toksport driver took advantage of a number of circumstances to turn his hard-fought lead into victory. Because of the late stop, he took the first positions. For him, quick stops were the key to success. “Great! Huge race! What a strategy from my team!” He told me to “run” on the idle lap.
He later added: “Unbelievable racing and, above all, a great team effort. It wouldn’t have worked without that pit stop. I had a thrilling race at the start, then a free drive before the pitstop and managed to push hard. The key was a huge pitstop by my team.” Toksport.”
After the pitstop, there was a duel between Tim Heinemann (Toksport-Porsche; 2nd) and Dennis Olsen (Manthey-EMA-Porsche; 4th) in front of Engelhart, as Olsen voluntarily backed off. As a result, Engelhardt took two places at once.
The bitter punishment prepares for the triumph
Finally, Thomas Pring (Manthey-EMA-Porsche; third), who had been leading the team for a long time, had to take a loop penalty due to a pit stop error by Manthey’s crew. The fact that this happened immediately after the second safety car period made the penalty even more painful. However, Preining only lost two places.
The mechanics hadn’t stopped the left rear wheel as per the rules when the Austrian headed into the pits, but left it there. A few other teams made the same mistake this weekend.
In a race that featured SC’s two stages, Toksport WRT celebrated a double victory against Manthey Porsches “Grello” and “Greeno”. It would have been Manthey one-two if Preining had not been penalized (or stage two SC had not occurred) and Olsen had not collided with Heinemann.
After two second places, Heinemann is the leader of the table and he can’t believe it himself: “This is unbelievable! Only 1-2 for Toksport – I don’t even know what to say. I wouldn’t have dreamed of it. Just a huge weekend”.
Double Lamborghini “Best of the Rest”
“I’m just happy, I’m happy for the team and Porsche. It hurts me a little bit [für Preining] sadness; Of course it’s always a shame when you get a penalty kick. But it’s a huge success for all of us. “At least there was nothing left of him having to run naked through the paddock. That would have been a betting debt, which he would have had to pay back if he won.
In a race dominated by Porsche, Schmid finished fifth and was the best third party car. He lost two positions during pit stops, but managed to establish himself as the best Lamborghini driver ahead of Mirko Bortolotti (SSR Lamborghini; sixth).
Riccardo Feller (Abt Audi), who had been involved in many battles in the early stages and was lucky to accidentally rub his rear tire, was seventh. He clashed with Sheldon van der Linde (Schubert BMW; XI) and Ayhankan Goffin (Bernhard Porsche; DNF).
Surprisingly, the best AMG driver was DTM rookie Jusuf Owega (Landgraf-Mercedes; eighth), following Maro Engel (Landgraf-Mercedes) after a scuffle with Rene Rast (Schubert-BMW; DNF) and a penalty for the same reason as Preining only fourteenth.
Rast breaks the wheel
However, Rast’s failure had nothing to do with the collision with Maru Engel, who would have had to give up the place he won against “Mamba” – if he had not ended up in the triple gravel, stage one fired SC.
Rast broke his rear right edge on the triple left turn. He was very lucky that he didn’t lift the wheel and roll, but instead navigated the gravel bed while the tire was still rolling to the other side.
“It was a big surprise. Of course I had some friction with other cars in the first laps. It is possible that the tire really had a small crack or broke. But the fact that the wheel breaks in the middle of the road,” says the three-time DTM champion.
How do you feel? “Helpless. There’s not much you can do other than be a passenger. But luckily we have a lot of runoff areas. Nothing happened there.”
Another bad luck: Kelvin an der Linde (Abt-Audi; DNF), whose driveshaft broke on his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II while in the points. Thus, the Audi driver launched the second stage of the SC.
Luca Stolz (HRT-Mercedes) ended a pitch-black weekend with another retirement. A total of 20 vehicles saw the checkered flag. Saturday’s winner Frank Pereira (SSR-Lamborghini) was only 12th. The next DTM race weekend is the premiere in Zandvoort from June 23-25.
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