Maximillian Götz took his first DTM win at the Lausitzring after technical gremlins left championship leader Kelvin van der Linde coming home in third place behind title challenger Liam Lawson. The result narrowed Van der Linde’s championship lead to just 4 points over Lawson.
Race 2 started with Philip Ellis on pole having won race 1 yesterday and being fastest in qualifying but the Swiss driver in the Team Winward Mercedes-AMG GT3 lost the lead at turn 2 as Lawson, in the Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3, drove around the outside of the turn to take the lead.
It wasn’t a great start for Maximillian Götz either who started from third place but dropped to fifth as Kelvin van der Linde forced his way to the front and took second ahead of Ellis who was rapidly going backwards.
The first pit stops happened early in the race with the first stoppers going in on lap 6. Race leader Lawson stayed out until lap 9 and a slight delay in the New Zealander’s stop left him open to be mugged by Van der Linde and Götz as he exited the pitlane.
Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Müller stayed out the longest, leaving the pair to lead the race through the mid-part but both dropped well down the field once their stops were taken over 40 minutes into the race. Müller was able to fight back up to P10 to take one championship point whilst Rockenfeller brought his Team Abt Sportsline Audi home in 8th.
Back at the front and Götz took the lead with 12 minutes remaining after race leader Van der Linde had a problem which saw the car switch off as it entered the back straight.
Talking about the incident after the race Van der Linde said, “It was probably the biggest nightmare for a race driver doing 250 and the car switches off. Luckily it had happened before so I knew exactly what to do to restart it but I still lost a couple of places.”
This gifted the lead to Götz whilst Lawson also took advantage to grab second place. A quick reset of the Team Abt Sportsline Audi GT3 LMS and he was back in the race right behind title rival Lawson.
Van der Linde showed his determination to get past Lawson, using all the track and bit of the grass but the Kiwi was equal to his attempts and held the South African behind him but conceded it wasn’t the easiest thing.
“I thought at the start when we got the lead I could possibly get the win,” said Lawson. “We had control of the race but unfortunately I stalled in the pitlane so I lost the lead to Kelvin. I was lucky that Kelvin had the issue and then for about 20 laps I was defending for my life.”
Directly behind this pair was a train of cars led by Philip Ellis who was fending off the second Van der Linde brother for fourth. Mirroring brother Kelvin’s attempts a couple of seconds up the track to pass Lawson, Sheldon van der Linde was pushing hard to clear Ellis.
Not wanting to lose another place following his start from pole position, Ellis worked hard to keep the Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 behind him. Like Lawson two places ahead of him, he succeeded and came home in third place to securing third place in the championship.
Ahead of all this Götz entered the last lap with a 5 second lead which boosted him up to fourth in the championship.
At the end Götz was ecstatic with his win.
“It’s absolutely great to win,” said Götz. “I was hoping to win without Kelvin having the issue but it doesn’t really matter. The team is happy and I’m happy. It was really emotional when I crossed the finish line. I enjoyed the moment, I was freaking out in the car so it’s promising to get more points later in the year.”
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