Luca Stolz knows the Nürburgring as good as anyone, and that’s what he showed on Sunday in the second DTM race of the weekend. The #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT driver scored an unchallenged win in what was his first DTM victory.
“It’s hard to describe,” Stolz answers when asked how winning in DTM feels.
“It obviously feels really good. The team today made the difference at the pitstop, but even after that the car was flying. I think today was the day to win.”
While his pitstop was what gave Stolz the lead, it was his superb start from seventh on the grid that thrust him right to the front at the restart where only debutant Theo Oeverhaus was ahead of him but still with a pitstop to be made.
“I had a good start, much better than yesterday with less contact which is really key in this race. The car was in shape and I immediately felt the car had a great pace today, I could overtake Kelvin [van der Linde] and Dennis [Olsen]. I was really happy with the car at this stage and the team did a mega pitstop.
“From there on I was basically in the lead, I only had to overtake Oeverhaus, he was in P1 because he didn’t pit, but he was on older tyres and I had fresh so it was quite an easy move for me.
“Then the car was really flying, I had a lot of fun. Of course, you are always a little bit nervous if everything sticks and you don’t pick up a puncture or anything else.
“With these GT3 cars if you are in clean air and you have good tyres, which we saved yesterday, then it’s a little bit easier – but clean air is the main thing, that’s why you see so many different styles in pitstops, this was the critical point today.
“Today was the perfect day for a win.”
Coming from endurance racing, having the race car all to himself is a new experience for the 27-year-old.
“It is different,” he explains.
“It’s less of a compromise, you can focus more on yourself. You don’t have to make compromises in the setup.
“But I have to say, in every drive in an AMG I’m racing with either Maro [Engel], Lello [Marciello] or other guys, we are all on almost the same high level so it’s not that you turn the car upside down from driver to driver. DTM is more about finding the sweet spot in qualifying, using the tyre at the right spot with the right temperatures and this is the key in DTM.”
Going into Sunday tenth in the championship, Luca Stolz goes home in fifth place and edging closer to the top positions. With six races remaining, it’s eyes to the front.
“It’s still three rounds to go, six races, which means a lot of points. But as you see, it’s never easy because yesterday I had the same car, but I was just not good. You just have to be focused all of the time and be lucky at some stage. Today we were lucky and had a great performance and then you score big points.
“For sure I would like to score points in both races but I take the victory whenever it comes.”
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