As the sun bathed the Sachsenring circuit in a warm, golden glow as the teams prepared for day two of the DTM Championship. The tension in the air was palpable, it was a crucial weekend for Mirko Bortolotti, the Italian maestro of GT3 racing. On Saturday, the odds seemed stacked against him finishing a disappointing 9th in qualifying and losing his hard-fought lead in the championship.


But champions are forged in the crucible of adversity. Bortolotti knew he had to bounce back, and he did so with an audacious display of skill and determination on Sunday. His Lamborghini roared to life, tearing up the track as he set a blistering lap time of 1:17.366 minutes, a time that sent shockwaves through the paddock.

This lap was not just a triumph for Bortolotti but for GT3 racing as a whole. It marked one of the fastest qualifying laps ever recorded at the Sachsenring, a testament to the incredible machinery and talent present on the grid that day.

Mirko Bortolotti wasn’t in a hurry to reveal his hand, though. He patiently waited until the second half of the session, biding his time and conserving his tires for the perfect moment. It was a gamble, a high-stakes game of strategy, and it paid off in spectacular fashion.

In second place, just 0.148 seconds behind Bortolotti, was Jack Aitken, the British sensation who had been chasing the Italian’s tail all season. The margin was razor-thin, a testament to the intensity of GT3 competition.

Luca Stolz, the German driving the Mercedes-AMG GT3, secured the third spot on the grid, while Thierry Vermeulen in his Ferrari 296 GT3 was fourth. Franck Perera completed the top five, showing that the SSR Performance Lamborghini squad was a force to be reckoned with.

But the biggest twist of fate came from the championship leader, Thomas Preining. The new leader found himself in an unfamiliar position, qualifying down in eleventh place. The title fight was far from over, and the pressure was mounting on him.

What made this qualifying session truly remarkable was the dramatic crescendo in the final moments. The top five drivers all unleashed their blistering pace when it mattered most. It was a breathtaking display of skill and composure, a testament to the intense competition and the high stakes of the GT3 championship.

As the cars returned to the pits after the session, the paddock was buzzing with excitement and anticipation. Mirko Bortolotti had made a remarkable comeback, now sitting just three points behind the new championship leader, Thomas Preining. The stage was set for a thrilling showdown on race day, where every lap would be a battle, and every corner a chance to prove their mettle. The Sachsenring had once again delivered motorsport drama at its finest.

Bortolotti, the Italian sensation behind the wheel of the Lamborghini for SSR Performance, was on a mission. He had one goal in mind – to regain his lead in the DTM standings, and he wasn’t going to let anything stand in his way.

The race began with a thunderous roar, but it was halted abruptly on the very first lap. The Sachsenring had witnessed a collision between several vehicles, leaving a trail of twisted metal and shattered dreams in its wake. The tension in the air was palpable as the drivers and their teams waited anxiously for the green flag to wave once more.

When the race finally resumed, Bortolotti emerged as the unyielding leader. With precision and skill, he navigated his Lamborghini through the twists and turns of the circuit, inching ahead with each passing lap. The gap between him and his rivals grew, and when the checkered flag waved, he crossed the finish line with a commanding lead of 1.541 seconds.

Behind him, Luca Stolz showcased his prowess in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, securing a well-deserved second place. However, the story didn’t end there. Ricardo Feller, initially celebrating a third-place finish in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2, was soon met with a dose of disappointment. A five-second time penalty for causing a collision dropped him down the order, and Bortolotti’s teammate, Franck Perera, seized the opportunity to climb to third.

This race marked a significant moment for the DTM series. After an absence of 21 long years, the Sachsenring once again played host to this thrilling motorsport spectacle. A staggering 42,000 spectators filled the grandstands, witnessing three days of heart-pounding action under the late summer sun.

Yet, the race was not without its share of challenges. Just as the drivers had started to find their rhythm, disaster struck once more. Another collision on lap one forced an interruption that lasted over 20 agonizing minutes. It tested the nerves of both drivers and fans alike.

During the pit stop window, the top drivers executed flawless tire changes, but Bortolotti remained steadfast in the lead. His Lamborghini roared with power as he refused to relinquish his position to anyone.

However, the race held one final twist. Jack Aitken, the Ferrari driver who had been chasing Bortolotti, found himself overtaken by both Stolz and the penalized Feller. Aitken’s hopes crumbled as a puncture forced him to park his Ferrari, ending his race prematurely.

Thierry Vermeulen displayed remarkable consistency, finishing fifth in the Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 GT3. Meanwhile, the tension reached its peak as Bortolotti reported falling oil pressure during the race. But the 33-year-old Italian, with nerves of steel, clung to his lead with unwavering determination.

As the race concluded, Arjun Maini celebrated his first top-ten placement of the season in seventh place, while René Rast showcased his fighting spirit, surging from 15th to eighth place in his BMW. Patric Niederhauser claimed ninth in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2, and Jusuf Owega rounded out the top ten in his Mercedes-AMG.

Mirko Bortolotti’s triumphant return to the top of the DTM standings was a testament to his skill and resilience. The Sachsenring had delivered a race day for the ages, leaving fans and drivers alike with memories etched in the annals of motorsport history.





Please consider making a donation so we can keep bringing you our best content from the racetrack.