Lucas Auer is the first race winner of the 2022 DTM season! In the Algarve coaster in Portimão, the Austrian won with the WINWARD Mercedes-AMG from the German Luca Stolz with the HRT Mercedes-AMG and the Italian Mirko Bortolotti with the GRT Lamborghini.
Kelvin van der Linde (RSA, Team ABT Sportsline) finished as the best placed Audi driver, Norwegian Dennis Olsen took fifth place with SSR Performance on his DTM debut with Porsche. The best placed BMW driver was Sheldon van der Linde of Schubert Motorsport, who finished seventh.
DTM practice day in Portimão: Nico Müller fastest in the Algarve.
“I am overjoyed”, race winner Auer rejoiced. “We had a good strategy, that was the key today. I was a bit lucky at the restart, but that’s racing.” Auer had benefited from a restart after 21 laps.
For a long time, Bortolotti looked safe for the win. The Italian had claimed pole position in the morning with Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini and also led the race for a long time. However, a safety car intervention after a retirement by teammate Rolf Ineichen (SUI) back on the field for technical reasons. At the restart Bortolotti struggled and had to let Auer, Stolz and Maro Engel pull away. Bortolotti: “At the restart I simply had no power. I have no idea what happened, I’ve never had that before.”
In the end, Bortolotti managed to secure a podium place after an entertaining duel with Engel over many laps. Kelvin van der Linde finished directly behind him. The ABT Audi driver had started from 17th place, benefiting from a strong strategy and staying out of trouble at the restart, something from René Rast (GER, Team ABT, Audi) and Felipe Fraga (BRA, Red Bull Alpha Tauri AF Corse , Ferrari) , failed; they both retired after contact. Rally icon Sébastien Loeb (FRA, Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse, Ferrari) finished 16th, David Schumacher (GER, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD, Mercedes-AMG) finished his DTM debut in 20th place. With a lap time of 1m 41.154s, Luca Stolz won the Autohero Fastest Lap award and gained an additional championship point.
After the exciting season opening, the 29 drivers from the top field in the DTM will again pull out all the stops on Sunday in the second race of the season in Portimão from 13:30 CEST.
Result Portimao Race 1 (Saturday)
images © DTM