It was rookie joy in the second DTM race of the weekend at the Nurburgring this afternoon as in a rain hit race, Maximilian Paul came from the mid-pack to take his and GRT Grasser Racings’ first DTM win whilst Laurin Heinrich was able to capture his first podium taking second place.


The Eifel weather made for an exciting qualifying session for the eighth race of the DTM season at the Nürburgring on Sunday morning. The track was damp at the start of the session, which led to a number of cars coming off the track. However, the surface started to dry out in the final third of the session, resulting in faster times.

Ricardo Feller coped best with the changing conditions in his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2. He secured his second pole position of the season by setting a time of 1:29.562 minutes on his twelfth lap. Sheldon van der Linde was second in the BMW M4 GT3, 0.247 seconds slower than Feller. Jack Aitken took third place in the Ferrari 296 GT3.

The drivers faced a decision between wet tyres and slicks due to the damp track and changing conditions. Feller chose to start the session on slicks, and it paid off as he was able to set the fastest time. However, other drivers who started on wet tyres struggled to find grip and fell down the order.

Mirko Bortolotti retired from the session due to a technical issue following a crash in his Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 which would see yesterday’s race winner forced to withdraw from the race. Championship leader Thomas Preining settled for 16th place in the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The race got underway in wet tyres with Ricardo Feller holding the lead into turn one whilst in the pack  the Manthey Porsche of Denis Olsen found itself facing an ever-decreasing gap as the Audi of Kelvin van der Linde closed on him from the left squeezing Olsen against the Toksport WRT Porsche of Tim Heinemann. Both continued without incident but van der Linde took a nudge on the rear and for the second day in a row found himself turned around and at the back of the field.

At the front, Feller, along with the others who had gambled on slick tyres began to struggle as rain began to fall and he soon found himself under pressure from Lucas Auer in the Mercedes-AMG team Winward car. Auer, who started on wets from fifth place on the grid was into the lead within two laps and quickly pulled away from the slick runners behind him.

Maximilian Paul was another on wet tyres who successfully brought his #19 GRT Grasser Lamborghini through the field from the sixth row on the grid. With 12 minutes remaining, Paul was with Auer, who seemed to be struggling with the tyres on the Mercedes. After resisting initial pressure from Paul, Auer had no answer as the rookie in only his fourth DTM race, outbraked Auer at the hairpin to take the lead.

Things didn’t improve for Auer as he quickly fell into the clutches of Laurin Heinrich in the #75 KUS Team Bernard Porsche, who didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to claim his first DTM podium. The race would end under the safety car following an off for Arjun Maini with Maro Engel claiming fourth place behind Lucas Auer and championship leader, Thomas Preining taking fifth place having started from sixteenth place.

The result gives Preining a lead of 29 points in the championship ahead of Sheldon van der Linde on 89 points and Mirko Bortolotti and Ricardo Feller both on 88 points.

The next round of the championship will be held at the Lausitzring in two weeks’ time on the 18th to the 20th of August.



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