Luca Stolz took race victory in the DTM series this afternoon as the Sachsenring, starting from pole position and dominating from the start. Championship leader Mirko Bortolotti had a torrid time with a pit stop error resulting in a penalty that dumped him down the field to finish the race in P9 allowing Thomas Preining to retake the championship lead after he finished in second place.
Stolz claimed his first DTM pole position in the opening qualifying session at the Sachsenring on Saturday with the German driver setting a best time of 1:17.633 minutes in his Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, edging out Ayhancan Güven of Team75 Motorsport by just 0.060 seconds.
Kelvin van der Linde secured the third position in his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2, while Thomas Preining and Mirko Bortolotti completed the top five.
Various tactics were employed in the session, with some drivers going out early and others waiting until the final third of the session. Stolz and Güven set their fastest times towards the end of the session, as the track conditions improved.
As the race got underway Stolz held the lead at the start and quickly built a 3-second cushion to the chasing pack who were busy getting their elbows out which saw a number of collisions. This left the track littered with debris which brought out the safety car wiping out Stolz’s lead.
At the restart, Stolz got away well with Ayhancan Güven pushing him hard. Following on was Thomas Preining who needed a good result to make up for a poor showing in the previous round.
At the pit window, Stolz and Preining were in early for their mandatory stop and Preining was able to capitalize on a quick turnaround to grab P2 from Güven.
There was drama for championship leader Mirko Bortolotti who was too keen to get away from his pit stop and span up the rear wheels whilst the car was still on the jacks. A trip through the penalty box followed having already misjudged the pit exit forcing a dramatic lock-up to prevent himself from leaving the track.
At the finish, it was Stolz over the line first with Preining taking second and retaking the championship lead. Ayhancan Güven took third place, making history as the first Turkish driver to take a DTM podium.
Race two will take place on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 local time following the qualifying session at 08:05.
Please consider making a donation so we can keep bringing you our best content from the racetrack.