Double debut victory: Paul and Grasser triumph in the rain


  • Maximilian Paul and the GRT Grasser Racing Team celebrate first DTM success at the Nürburgring
  • Porsche driver Thomas Preining wins half-time championship after finishing in fifth place
  • 49,300 spectators experience fast-paced race weekend with typical Eifel weather 

First victory at the second DTM event - Maximilian Paul (Dresden) achieved a sensation on Sunday at the Nürburgring. The 23-year-old started 13th in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 and showed a sensational recovery in increasingly heavy rain. He took the lead on lap 26 and was flagged off as the winner after 35 laps. With this triumphant drive, Paul secured the first DTM success for himself and the GRT Grasser Racing Team. "That was a perfect race. My start went really well, the pit stop went flawlessly and the speed was there the whole time thanks to a correctly chosen car setup. It was important that I stayed calm behind Lucas Auer and then seized the opportunity at the right moment. It also paid off that I was able to use the ADAC GT Masters race weekend in mid-July as preparation for the DTM races," said Paul. This means that after the first eight rounds of the season there are eight different winners - a record in the DTM. Laurin Heinrich (Würzburg) rewarded himself for a strong performance. The 21-year-old Porsche driver made up nine places and stood on the podium for the first time in the DTM. Lucas Auer (A) in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 confirmed his good form in the Eifel and, after finishing second on Saturday, made it onto the podium again in third place.

Key facts, Nürburgring, season race 8 of 16

  • Track length: 3,629 meters
  • Weather: 12 degrees, rain
  • Pole position: Ricardo Feller (Abt Sportsline, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2 #7), 1:29.562 minutes
  • Winner: Maximilian Paul (GRT Grasser Racing Team, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 #19)
  • Fastest race lap: Marco Wittmann (Project 1, BMW M4 GT3 #11), 1:35.871 minutes

At noon on Sunday, almost all drivers started to the eighth DTM round of the season on rain tires in light precipitation. Pole setter Ricardo Feller (CH) in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2 initially maintained his lead ahead of the two Mercedes-AMG of David Schumacher (Salzburg) and Lucas Auer (A). But after just a few laps Feller had to relinquish his top position to Auer, who was then able to pull away a little from the field. Behind him, there were numerous overtaking maneuvers and many position changes on an increasingly wet track. Paul and Heinrich moved closer to the front lap by lap.

After a spin by Alessio Deledda (I) in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 and a subsequent caution period, Auer, Paul and Heinrich completed the mandatory tire change shortly before the end of the pit stop window. The youngsters then switched to attack mode: on lap 26 Paul overtook the leading Auer, and on the 31st lap Heinrich followed suit and moved up to second place. Shortly before the end, Arjun Maini (IND) slid off the track, the safety car was deployed and led the field to the finish with Paul, Heinrich and Auer at the front. Maro Engel (Monaco) in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 crowned another strong performance with fourth place, while championship leader Preining (A) secured the half-time championship behind him in the Porsche 911 GT3 R with a tactically mature performance.

Feller was the best Audi driver in sixth place, his brand colleague Luca Engstler (Wiggensbach) finished seventh. Thierry Vermeulen (NL) steered his Ferrari 296 GT3 from grid position 23 to eighth. Schumacher, on the other hand, lost six places and finished ninth on the 3.629-kilometer traditional circuit. Lamborghini driver Franck Perera (F) from SSR Performance, whose team-mate Mirko Bortolotti (I) was unable to start after his victory on Saturday due to technical problems with his car, made up 14 places and completed the top ten.

Laurin Heinrich: "The overtaking maneuver against Lucas Auer was racing at the highest level. My first DTM podium is a dream come true for me. On Saturday the caution period cost us a good result, this time I pitted late and was able to benefit. We kept a cool head in challenging weather conditions."

Lucas Auer: "I was running really well in the early stages. Unfortunately, after the pit stop I didn't get the tires into the optimum window. As a result, I couldn't keep up the pace at the front. Overall, though, it was a successful weekend for us and we're traveling to the Lausitzring, where I won my first DTM race in 2016, with a good feeling."

Result, race 2, Nürburgring 
1st Maximilian Paul (D/GRT Grasser Racing Team).
2nd Laurin Heinrich (D/Team75 Motorsport), +0.600 seconds
3rd Lucas Auer (A/Mercedes-AMG Team Winward), +1.320 seconds
4th Maro Engel (D/Mercedes-AMG Team Mann-Filter), +1.954 seconds
5th Thomas Preining (A/Manthey EMA), +3.248 seconds

The full race results are available at