A lot of action, a lot of overtaking, and two new faces on the DTM podium at the end: 22-year-old Swiss Ricardo Feller claimed the maiden win of his still young DTM career. Following René Rast’s victory on Saturday, it was the second win for the ABT Sportsline Audi team in Imola. Dev Gore finished second with the Rosberg Audi and secured the first-ever podium result for an American driver in the long history of DTM. Marco Wittmann (GER) finished third with the Walkenhorst BMW, having overtaken Lucas Auer (AUT) in the WINWARD Mercedes-AMG in the battle for the final podium slot just a few corners before the finish.
Having secured his maiden pole position in qualifying, Feller was obviously really satisfied following his race win in considerable heat: “This simply feels really nice. After the restart, I didn’t know whether it would be enough, but I just gave it all I had.” The driver in second place was overjoyed, too: “This is really cool! My team has done everything right during the safety car phase, I was just worried whether the tyres would last,” Gore reported. “I am the first American on the DTM podium, that is making me really proud.”
In the championship standings, Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) extended his lead by finishing fifth on Sunday. With 80 points, the Schubert Motorsport BMW driver is now twelve points clear of Mirko Bortolotti (ITA), who still scored one point for finishing tenth with the GRT Lamborghini. Third in the DTM drivers’ standings is Nico Müller (SUI/Rosberg Audi) with 62 points, next up are Auer and Rast. The race winner from Saturday had to retire early from the Sunday race following a puncture.
In the opening stages of the race, there was a lot of action already with the safety car being deployed following collisions between Maximilian Buhk (GER/Mücke Mercedes-AMG) and Laurens Vanthoor (BEL/SSR Performance Porsche) as well as between Thomas Preining (AUT/KÜS Porsche) and Rolf Ineichen (SUI/GRT Lamborghini). Almost all the teams used the opportunity for tyre changes and the Rosberg team ranked among the most clever ones in this process, enabling Dev Gore to make the decisive progress.
The restart was full of action, too. Once again, Felipe Fraga was affected. Having started from second, the Brazilian had to park his Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari following contact. After that, several entertaining position fights unfolded, in which the DTM’s world-class drivers proved their skills. Especially the duel between Wittmann and Auer for third kept the fans on their feet until the chequered flag was out. Driving the Ceccato Racing BMW, guest driver Timo Glock also made it clear that he had lost none of his qualities and just missed out on the top ten by finishing eleventh.
There is only little time to recover as DTM action already continues in a fortnight with the next round coming up at the legendary Norisring street circuit in Nuremberg from 1 till 3 July.