With a lights-to-flag victory, Dennis Olsen secured his maiden win in his still fresh DTM career with the SSR Performance Porsche. In qualifying in the morning, the Norwegian had secured the best starting grid position with a lap time of 2m 30.488s. After a pair of second places at Norisring and Nürburgring, it is the long-awaited maiden DTM race win for Olsen. Classified second and third respectively, reigning DTM champion Maximilian Götz (GER, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD) and Olsen’s fellow Porsche driver Thomas Preining (KÜS Team Bernhard) joined him on the podium. Götz had started from fourth on the grid and was able to make up two places over the race distance of 50 minutes plus one lap to score his first podium finish of the season. Austrian Thomas Preining had good chances of victory following a good qualifying result in second place, but temporarily dropped back to ninth following contact and a spin on the opening lap, then still claimed back third place. The second DTM race at Spa-Francorchamps gets underway on Sunday at 1.30pm CEST.
Race winner Dennis Olsen: “I am super, super happy. We have been working for this so hard all year. Initially, it was really tough, but since Norisring, we have had a good trend until now and we definitely have the potential. Finally, we have claimed victory. A mega good feeling.”
For Lucas Auer, the race was a dramatic affair. Having started from third place, he initially dropped out of the point-scoring positions due to mishap during the pit stop. He made a strong recovery, but his working day was over prematurely. On lap 16, the Austrian had a puncture and had to park his car in the pits following a duel with teammate Maximilian Götz. After the recent round at Nürburgring, Auer had come to Belgium in third place of the drivers’ standings, but with his retirement from the Saturday race, he dropped back to fifth in the championship.
Local heroes Laurens Vanthoor and Esteban Muth didn’t have luck on their side in their first home race Porsche works driver Vanthoor (SSR Performance) had a good perspective, starting from fifth on the grid. However, he clipped the wall while exiting the pit lane and damaged his car in such a way that he, too, was forced to retire. Esteban Muth missed out on scoring points by finishing 13th with the Walkenhorst BMW.
Classified twelfth, points’ leader Sheldon van der Linde (RSA, Schubert BMW) didn’t score any points either, but remains on top of the drivers’ standings with 110 points. Rival Mirko Bortolotti (GRT Lamborghini) started from 20th place, made up twelve positions and eventually ended up eighth, the Italian scoring four points as a result. Now at 93 points, he still dropped to third in the standings. In the battle for the title, three-time champion René Rast (93, ABT Audi), has moved up to second following his fourth-place finish, race winner Olsen (87) is now fourth.