The Space Drive Mercedes-AMG GT3 #18 of Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport and Maximilian Buhk can score points again at the second race weekend of the DTM at the Lausitzring and crosses the finish line in 10th place in the first race and in 18th place in the second race on Sunday after a pit stop penalty.
In the first race of the second DTM weekend at the Lausitzring, Maximilian Buhk delivered a strong race in the #18 Mercedes-AMG GT3 from Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport – which manages entirely without a mechanical connection between the steering unit and steering gear. From tenth on the grid, the Northern German fought his way spiritedly to eighth place on the much-discussed circuit consisting of the combination of Turn 1 of the Trioval and the infield during the starting lap. The late pit stop proved to be less than ideal, with Buhk losing four positions and then getting stuck behind Vincent Abril and Timo Glock, both of whom he later managed to leave behind. In the end, Buhk fought his way back to 10th place and into the points. Buhk and the steer-by-wire technology Space Drive from Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co. & KG mastered it perfectly.
On Sunday, Buhk started the race from 12th place, but the race was actually over shortly afterwards. At the start, Buhk had already pushed forward from the sixth row to eighth place. But unlike in most GT3 racing series with flying starts, where the race is completely open when the lights change, in the DTM you are only allowed to overtake when you cross the start line. For this he received a drive-through penalty and was pushed to the back of the field. As a result, the 28-year-old lost well over 30 seconds at the start of the race. In the end, Buhk crossed the finish line in 18th place.
The Lausitzring is a home race for the Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport from Berlin and is often used by the team for testing. The team is already familiar with the circuit with Turn 1 from Formula 3 and from the 2003 DTM. Mücke Motorsport achieved many successes at the Lausitzring, including Lucas Auer’s first DTM victory in 2016.
Peter Mücke, Team leader, Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport was basically satisfied: “We had the performance to be able to compete at the front in the Mercedes field, with driver, car and Space Drive steering. But the racing god doesn’t always do what you want. In Saturday’s race everything was in the green, we got the maximum out of it. On Sunday we were unlucky in that Maxi made a mistake at the start. That cost us the race. Turn 1 was no hurdle for the Space Drive system. I think we are now in an area where we have almost reached the level of a conventional steering system. But we certainly have potential to improve further.”
For Maximilian Buhk his second race weekend in the DTM was a little sobering: “I think we could have clinched a very good result, especially on Saturday. A number of factors came together that prevented us from doing so. On Sunday, I have to bear the responsibility for the starting penalty. But we saw that we are much closer to the other Mercedes compared to Monza. So I’m in a positive mood. Turn 1 is a challenge because it’s not just full throttle and you need a lot of courage. The corner is very fast and mistakes hurt a lot in the concrete wall. Of course, you work a lot in the corner and the rear axle is also nervous, but the Space Drive System compensated for that easily.”
After the second race weekend, Maximilian Buhk is in 12th place in the drivers’ standings with 9 points. In the team standings, Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport is in 9th place, also with 9 points. Mercedes-AMG leads the DTM manufacturers’ standings with 147 points.
In just under two weeks’ time, the third DTM round will be held in Zolder, Belgium, with one race each on Saturday and Sunday. The race weekend will start on Friday, August 6, at 1:00 p.m. with the 45-minute free practice session, the second free practice session will start at 4:10 p.m.. On Saturday, August 7, qualifying will be held at 10:30 a.m. for the first grid position. The race start is traditionally at 1:30 p.m.. On Sunday, qualifying begins at 10:10 a.m. for the second race of the weekend, which also starts at 1:30 p.m. SAT.1 will broadcast the races live on both days from 1:00 p.m.. All practice runs and races can also be seen in the livestream under DTM Grid. The other DTM dates: August 20-22 Nürburgring, September 3-5 Red Bull Ring (AT), September 17-19 Assen (NL) and September 1-3 Hockenheimring. The race at the Norisring will be postponed, the new date is not yet fixed.
Source. Mücke Motorsport/Photo. Gruppe