Mirko Bortolotti, driving the SSR Performance Lamborghini became the first driver to win two DTM races in 2023 this afternoon at the Lauszitzring after a long and hard fight for the lead with Ricardo Feller. The result puts him to the top of the championship standings, seven points ahead of former leader, Thomas Preining.
Prior to the race, Bortolotti achieved the fastest lap time in the second qualifying session at the DEKRA Lausitzring, securing his fourth DTM pole position driving a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2. With this pole position, he also gained three additional points for the Pirelli Pole Position Award.
The qualifying session took place with temperatures around 23 degrees Celsius and the session was suspended due to a crash involving Alessio Deledda leaving the drivers just five minutes to set a fast time after the restart. Bortolotti secured pole position on his eleventh lap, the only driver below 1:21.000 minutes. The top 25 drivers in qualifying finished within a second of each other.
Bortolotti’s goal was to become the first driver this season to win a second race in the 2023 DTM Championship. He is currently in second place in the championship standings, five points behind the leader, Thomas Preining, and the Italian went into the race confident that he could win and close the gap in the championship.
Ricardo Feller from Abt Sportsline would start alongside Bortolotti on the front row. Clemens Schmid from GRT Grasser Racing Team and Franck Perera, Bortolotti’s teammate, started in third and fourth place respectively.
At the start Bortolotti lead into the first corner whilst Ricardo Feller had to work hard to keep Clemens Schmid in the GRT Grasser Lamborghini behind him. The rest of the field followed on without incident however the calm wasn’t going to last.
Franck Perera in the SSR Performance Lamborghini was chasing Schmid for third place but appeared to misjudge his braking and ran into the back of Schmid’s Lamborghini putting both off into the gravel. This promoted championship leader Thomas Preining to the podium who was looking for a good result after the disappointment of yesterday but he was soon instead looking a Luca Stolz in his mirror. Stolz, driving the Team HRT Mercedes-AMG benefitted from a superb pitstop which put him right on the tail of Preining who was unable to counter the attack from Stolz who was quickly past and up into third place.
Following the pitstops an epic battle was developing for first and second between Bortolotti and Ricardo Feller who in the second half of the race were nose to tail with both drivers keen to be the first to pick up a second win in this year’s championship.
Feller threw everything he had at the Lamborghini ahead of him but Bortolotti drove a faultless race and held off the Team ABT Sportsline Audi driver to take the flag just 0.353 seconds ahead. Luca Stolz finished third ahead of Preining who now drops from the championship lead with Bortolotti taking over opening a seven-point deficit to Preining.
Round six of the DTM Championship will take place on the 8th-10th of September at the Sachsenring.
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