Unpredictable Eifel weather cannot stop Bortolotti


  • 33-year-old Italian celebrates his first DTM victory at the Nürburgring
  • New DTM record: seven different winners after the first seven races
  • Lucas Auer finishes second after tactically strong performance

Huge cheers for Mirko Bortolotti (I) and his SSR Performance team. The Italian clinched his first DTM victory on Saturday at the Nürburgring in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 and moved up to second place in the overall standings. Bortolotti had started as pole setter and held his nerve until the end in a turbulent race with intermittent rain. After 39 laps, the Lamborghini driver crossed the finish line in first place with a lead of 1.199 seconds. "I've been waiting for this moment for a long time. So far it's been a perfect weekend for me as fastest on Friday and pole setter as well as race winner on Saturday. It was important that I didn't make any mistakes during the short rain shower on the slick tires on the one hand and was also able to maintain my lead on the other," said Bortolotti. Lucas Auer (A) in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 crowned a tactically strong performance with second place, while his compatriot Thomas Preining finished third in the Porsche 911 GT3 R to extend his championship lead to 18 points.

Key facts, Nürburgring, season race 7 of 16

  • Track length: 3,629 meters
  • Weather: 18 degrees, cloudy/light rain
  • Pole position: Mirko Bortolotti (SSR Performance, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 #92), 1:25.118 minutes
  • Winner: Mirko Bortolotti (SSR Performance, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 #92)
  • Fastest race lap: Lucas Auer (Mercedes-AMG Team Winward, Mercedes-AMG GT3 #22), 1:26.667 minutes

In the seventh DTM race, Bortolotti controlled the field after a good start and was able to continuously extend his lead. Behind him, Preining and Ricardo Feller (CH) held their positions ahead of Auer, who improved from eighth to fourth place. Jack Aitken (GB) in the Ferrari 296 GT3 completed the top five. After half an hour it started to rain lightly. Then a collision between Porsche drivers Christian Engelhart (Starnberg) and Ayhancan Güven (TR) was followed by a yellow period, which was used by most drivers for the mandatory pit stop. Despite the precipitation, almost all drivers opted for Pirelli slicks, which proved their worth on a track that dried quickly.

Things got turbulent in the 28th lap. Alessio Deledda (I) slid into the gravel and the safety car was deployed for two laps. Perera, who was in 22nd position, played a decisive role: after his pit stop, the lapped Frenchman came onto the track directly behind his leading teammate Bortolotti and was ahead of the pursuers Preining and Feller. On the subsequent restart, fourth-placed Auer pushed past those in front of him and moved ever closer to Bortolotti. However, the Lamborghini works driver made no mistakes and Auer took the chequered flag in second place. Behind Preining and Feller, Dennis Olsen (N) in the Porsche 911 GT3 R finished fifth after a controlled performance. 

Best BMW driver was Marco Wittmann (Fürth), who improved from tenth on the grid to sixth. His brand colleague Sheldon van der Linde (ZA) made up eight positions behind him in seventh. However, his brother Kelvin van der Linde (ZA) managed the catch-up of the day. After a collision on the first lap, the Audi driver fought his way from last place to the front with spectacular overtaking maneuvers and rewarded this energetic performance with eighth place. Patric Niederhauser (CH) finished ninth in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2, Thierry Vermeulen (NL) completed the top ten as the best Ferrari driver.

The second race at the Nürburgring starts at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The German free TV station ProSieben will be reporting from the Eifel from 1:00 p.m. onwards. The decision on the starting grid for Sunday's race will be made in qualifying, which starts at 9:05 a.m. and, just like the race, can be seen live in the stream on ran.de and the DTM YouTube channel. Worldwide, the DTM will be broadcast live or re-live in over 150 territories.

Lucas Auer: "What an intense race. The crucial thing was that both the start and the re-starts went really well for me. In addition, the team put in a super performance at the pit stop. Those were the key scenes. Of course I was still hoping for a mistake from Mirko Bortolotti at the back, but he had everything under control."

Thomas Preining: "That was an exciting and chaotic race. I had to defend a lot, but I managed that well. On the second re-start Mirko Bortolotti and Franck Perera worked together cleverly. As a result, there were suddenly several cars next to me and I had no chance of keeping Lucas Auer behind me. Third place is still a good result with a view to the championship."

Result, 1st race, Nürburgring
1st Mirko Bortolotti (I/SSR Performance)
2nd Lucas Auer (A/Mercedes-AMG Team Winward), +1.199 seconds
3rd Thomas Preining (A/Manthey EMA), +2.572 seconds
4th Ricardo Feller (CH/Abt Sportsline), +3.117 seconds
5th Dennis Olsen (N/Manthey EMA), +4.327 seconds

The full race results are available at dtm.com/en/results.