Porsche driver Denis Olsen celebrated in the first race of the DTM weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, ahead of reigning champion Maximilian Goetz and his brand colleague Thomas Prining.
In the qualifications for the first DTM race at the Belgian autodrome, Olsen set the best time in the “Porsche 911 GT3R” of the SSR performance team, ahead of Prining, the driver of the Bernard team. Lukas Auer entered the race from the third starting position in the “Mercedes AMG GTR”. Rene Rast qualified in ninth place, while the overall leader, BMW driver Sheldon van der Linde, entered the race only from 22nd place. His main competitor, Mirko Bortolotti, started two positions ahead of him in a Lamborghini, he says Serbiaring.
Olsen kept the first place at the start while Prining had a slight contact with Auer while going through the O-Rouge curve, which resulted in a half-spin and the “Porsche” landed on the grass, but managed to return to the track in eighth place. Auer took advantage of this to gain second place, while Maximilian Getz reached third place.
The first visits to the garage for regular tire changes started at the end of the fifth lap. The first of the leaders to do so were Mercedes driver Maro Engel and Thomas Prining, a lap later. In the seventh lap, Filip Eng, Sheldon van der Linde’s teammate, dropped out of the race. Lukas Auer had a very slow stop, because the front left wheel was not well attached, but he managed to get on the track ahead of all the competitors who were changing tires. Denis Olsen, although he hit the wall on the way out of the pit lane, managed to return to the track after his stop as the “vitriolic leader”.
Maro Engel, in an attempt to overtake the drivers in front of him who did not change tires, had contact with Rolf Inichen in the “Lamborghini”, which resulted in a flat rear left tire on the “Mercedes”. The German somehow managed to get back to the pit lane, but at the entrance to it, he slowed down Sheldon van der Linde, who was behind the sluggish Mercedes. Lukas Auer made a mistake in the 17th lap and blocked his front left wheel, which caused him to “burn” the tire that burst, and the Austrian had to retire.
After all the drivers changed tires, Olsen returned to the leading position, ahead of Goec and Prining in third place. Rene Rast advanced to fourth place, ahead of his teammate, Kelvin van der Linde.
At the start of the 20th lap, with just under four minutes left in the race, the rain intensified and the wipers began to actively work on all cars, but no team decided to change tires, although some had prepared rain tires. David Schumacher, who until then was driving in eighth place, lost two positions, to Nick Cassidy in the AF Corse “Ferrari” and Mirko Bortolotti in the “Lamborghini” of the Graser team. Bortolotti then overtook Cassidy for the eighth place, while David Schumacher took the tenth position from Mark Whitman.
Denis Olsen crossed the finish line first and brought the second victory to Porsche in the DTM, ahead of the current champion Maksimilian Goec, who set the fastest lap of the race and won an additional point and for whom this is the first podium of the season. Prining reached the finish line third, as the second representative of Porsche on the podium. The Audi trio of René Rast, Kelvin van der Linde and Niko Müller follows from the fourth position. Felipe Fraga finished the race in seventh place for AF Corse Ferrari, ahead of Bortolotti and Mark Whitman who overtook Nick Cassidy for ninth place at the finish of the race.
In the general ranking, Sheldon van der Linde is still the leader with 110 points, ahead of Rene Rast who has 93 points, the same as third-placed Bortolotti. With this victory, Olsen took fourth place in the general standings with 87 points.
The second DTM race at the Spa-Francorchamps Autodrome is scheduled for tomorrow from 1:25 p.m.
Source: AutoBlog by autoblog.rs.
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