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DTM Norisring: Preining scores historic Porsche 1-2 amid incidents

Autosport logo Autosport 2/7/2022 James Newbold

Starting second on the grid, Team Bernhard driver Preining avoided the carnage around him to win by 3.67s as SSR Performance stablemate Olsen capitalised on a penultimate lap error from Rene Rast to snatch second.

Three-time DTM champion Rast, who had briefly led the race but suffered a slow puncture in the latter stages, finished third ahead of Laurens Vanthoor in the second SSR Porsche, while Philipp Eng (Schubert BMW) and defending champion Max Gotz (Winward Mercedes) completed the top six after an eventful race in which several contenders fell by the wayside.

At the start, poleman Kelvin van der Linde (Abt Audi) held the lead as fellow front-row starter Preining went deep around the outside.

A fast-starting Arjun Maini (HRT Mercedes) attempted to follow that tactic, but was turned around by the Grasser Lamborghini of series debutante Franck Perera which caused a chain-reaction behind that eliminated several cars - including points leader Sheldon van der Linde, Nico Muller and Marco Wittmann.

Following the restart on lap seven, Preining passed Kelvin van der Linde and held the lead until a full course yellow caused by Alessio Deledda (Grasser) ramming Esteban Muth from behind into Turn 1 and sending the Walkenhorst BMW spinning into Perera on lap 14.

Preining pitted a lap earlier than van der Linde, who was followed in on lap 17 by Rast. When the South African was held, to avoid an unsafe release as Vanthoor came in behind, Rast got away first and also jumped Preining to take the lead.

Rast led the field back to green for the restart on lap 20, but as he had done earlier to van der Linde, again Preining seized the lead around the outside.

Preining ran deep into Turn 1 at the start but survived contact - behind, Maini and Perera were not so fortunate © Preining ran deep into Turn 1 at the start but survived contact - behind, Maini and Perera were not so fortunate

Preining ran deep into Turn 1 at the start but survived contact - behind, Maini and Perera were not so fortunate

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

However, the racing was short-lived as Maro Engel’s Gruppe M Mercedes was fired into the wall approaching Turn 4 following contact with Mirko Bortolotti – the Grasser Lamborghini driver attempting to recover having been demoted to the back of the grid for not going to be weighed after qualifying.

Preining then had to lead the field back to the restart on lap 29 and held on as behind Olsen and Rast touched – the Porsche driver getting sideways but holding onto second into Turn 1.

However, there was again chaos behind as debutant Ayhancan Guven (Red Bull Ferrari) tagged Lucas Auer’s Winward Mercedes at Turn 3, while Bortolotti punted van der Linde into his team-mate Ricardo Feller at Turn 4 – causing both the Italian and South African to drop out with damage.

Preining again held onto his advantage when the race restarted for a fifth time on lap 34, as Rast got back ahead of Olsen by running the Norwegian wide into Turn 1 – briefly promoting Vanthoor to third.

After diving back ahead of Vanthoor into Turn 2, Olsen piled the pressure on Rast and punted him sideways at Turn 4 on lap 38. But the Audi man somehow remained ahead until he ran wide on the penultimate lap, gifting an opening to Olsen.

Behind Vanthoor, Eng made strong progress in the closing laps by passing the delayed Feller, then Gotz into Turn 1, while Luca Stolz came from the back of the grid after a gearbox failure in qualifying to pass Feller late on for seventh.

Despite an early pitstop following contact with the wall, Mikael Grenier (Gruppe M Mercedes) finished ninth, as Clemens Schmid (Grasser Lamborghini) completed the points scorers in tenth.

DTM Norisring Race 1 results (57 laps):

1 Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R57 57'57.354
2 Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R57 58'01.029 3.675
3 René Rast Audi R8 LMS Evo II57 58'01.508 4.154
4 Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 911 GT3 R57 58'04.384 7.030
5 Philipp Eng BMW M4 GT357 58'05.420 8.066
6 Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo57 58'06.329 8.975
7 Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo57 58'07.213 9.859
8 Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II57 58'08.333 10.979
9 Mikael Grenier Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo57 58'09.367 12.013
10 Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo57 58'10.473 13.119
11 Marius Zug Audi R8 LMS Evo II57 58'13.883 16.529
Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo42 15 laps
Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II41 16 laps
Ayhancan Güven Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 202032 25 laps
Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo31 26 laps
Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo28 29 laps
Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo19 38 laps
Frank Perera Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo13 44 laps
Esteban Muth BMW M4 GT313 44 laps
Felipe Fraga Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 20207 50 laps
Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo II5 52 laps
Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT31 56 laps
Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo II1 56 laps
Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo1 56 laps
Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT31 56 laps
David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo0 57 laps
Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo0 57 laps
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