A double podium result for Mercedes-AMG in DTM season opener at Oschersleben.

  • Performance Drivers Maro Engel and Luca Stolz celebrate second and third place on Sunday
  • Mercedes-AMG Team HRT heading home in the lead of the teams’ standings
  • Rookie Tom Kalender and reigning champion Elias Seppänen celebrate ADAC GT Masters win

The new DTM season got off with a success for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing at the weekend. During the season opener in Oschersleben, the Performance Teams HRT and WINWARD proved to be strong straight away. Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER) finished second and third in Sunday's race in the high-quality field of 20 DTM professionals. In both races on the 3.667 kilometres long circuit, all four Mercedes-AMG GT3s finished in the point-scoring positions. The performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach is in second place in the manufacturers’ standings after the first of eight stops on this year's calendar.

For Luca Stolz, second place on the grid in the second qualifying session was the foundation for what was to be a prolific Sunday. The 28-year-old Mercedes-AMG Team HRT driver initially was in contention for victory during his first stint. A full course yellow phase 26 minutes into the race produced the decisive situation. Maro Engel had worked his way up from tenth on the grid and benefited from the neutralisation. The 38-year-old had completed his pit stop shortly beforehand and found himself in second position when racing resumed. In the final stages, he was involved in a close battle for victory with the race leader. After 40 laps, the #130 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD was classified in second place, 0.300 seconds down. Luca Stolz took the chequered flag in third place.

Mercedes-AMG Team HRT’s Arjun Maini (IND) started from fifth on the grid and finished fourth behind his team-mate. Lucas Auer (AUT) incurred damage to the front right of his car on the opening lap due to contact through no fault of his own. The 29-year-old continued his race. In spite of all his problems, he took the chequered flag in eleventh place with the #22 Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Maro Engel and Arjun Maini had already made the first mark for Mercedes-AMG on Friday by posting the fastest times in the two practice sessions. The four Performance Drivers also finished in the point-scoring positions in Saturday's race. Luca Stolz and Lucas Auer finished fifth and sixth, closely followed by Arjun Maini in eighth place. After a late red flag in qualifying, Maro Engel ended up in 13th place and was rewarded with three championship points.

>> Results DTM Oschersleben

Convincing performance by the young drivers 
For Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, the opening round of the ADAC GT Masters also went very promising. The first of six race weekends came to a crowning conclusion on Sunday with a 1-2 for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with LANDGRAF Motorsport and Haupt Racing Team. As the youngest driver in the history of the ADAC GT Masters, Tom Kalender (GER) was victorious at the age of 16 years and 32 days together with Elias Seppänen (FIN) ahead of Jannes Fittje and Finn Wiebelhaus (both GER). For David Schumacher (GER), his ADAC GT Masters debut proved to be a rollercoaster of emotions. The Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver claimed pole position in qualifying on Sunday and then led the race until he was stopped by a power steering failure.

Saturday's race was also successful for Mercedes-AMG with a double podium result. Tom Kalender and reigning champion Elias Seppänen finished in second place. Kwanda Mokoena (RSA) and Max Reis (GER) from Haupt Racing Team rounded out the podium. There was also a podium finish to celebrate for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in the ADAC GT4 Germany. Marc de Fulgencio (ESP) and Enzo Joulié (FRA) with the BWT Mücke Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 finished second in the race on Saturday.

>> Results ADAC GT Masters Oschersleben
>> Results ADAC GT4 Germany Oschersleben

Race Facts 

- Fastest lap in race two by Maro Engel in 1m 23.245s 
- Fastest pit stop in race two by Mercedes-AMG Team HRT in 6.8 seconds (Luca Stolz)
- Mercedes-AMG Team HRT leads the teams’ standings with 48 points
- Mercedes-AMG is in second place of the manufacturers’ standings with 57 points 
- 50th DTM race start for customer sports teams HRT und WINWARD on Sunday 
- 5th podium finish for Maro Engel in DTM
- 9th podium finish for Luca Stolz in DTM

“I am very satisfied with the double podium result and the overall performance of our teams and drivers in DTM. The intensive preparation phase during the winter has definitely paid off. We have shown that we are competitive, even if it didn’t work out with the victory here at the first attempt. We made good progress and got all our cars into the points. Lucas also still scored points with the damaged car on Sunday, which could be very valuable for the championship. Things are looking good in all three classifications at the moment. We want to take this form with us to the Lausitzring. The successes in ADAC GT Masters and in ADAC GT4 Germany round off the positive overall picture. I'm delighted that we were able to show in front of a fantastic crowd here at Oschersleben that we as Mercedes-AMG are right at the front in all series.”
Stefan Wendl, Head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing

“On Saturday, we did a good job in terms of execution and worked our way forward step by step. Sunday was more difficult. It already started in qualifying, where we simply lacked the pace. The collision at the start of the race is something that can always happen at this stage. There was contact in front of me and someone spun. I had no chance to avoid it. The damage was considerable and it was a huge challenge to still finish in the points. But the car held up and I'm proud to have finished the race under these circumstances.”
Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER #22

“We had a great start to the weekend and already had a fantastic car on Friday. Track conditions changed a lot over the three days here and we didn't always react to this in the best possible way. We could have done much better in the qualifying sessions, but the team did a great job for the second race. In terms of set-up and balance, we were back where we were on Friday. In that respect, I’m very happy with second place. The strategy and the pit stop were great. Of course, there was a bit of luck involved with the full course yellow, but we still did everything right and showed significant progress compared to Saturday.”
Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD #130

“I think it was a pretty strong weekend. My qualifying sessions were both very good and so were the races. Eighth place on Saturday was still a bit disappointing because we were a bit unlucky with traffic at the pit stop. Fourth place in the second race was great, although I had hoped for more. The neutralisation didn't play into our hands. We came so close to the podium, but we had a good pace overall. The second stint was very fast. So, there are a lot of positive things we can build on. All in all, it was a good start to the season for me, for us as a team and for Mercedes-AMG. I’m already looking forward to the Lausitzring. The confidence is high and I have the feeling that the podium is within reach.”
Arjun Maini, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #36

“It was a very, very good weekend for the team and for me. The pit stops were mega, the guys and girls from my crew really rocked it. There was a lot of pressure on Sunday because we stopped in a straight battle with the race leader. We really should have won the race, but then the full course yellow phase came at the most unfavourable moment for us. That was a great pity, but at least it only cost us two positions. It could have gone worse. Smelling of champagne after the race is always a good sign. In that regard, I’m obviously delighted to take home a trophy here, especially as Oschersleben hasn't been the best venue for us in the past.”
Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4

“To finish on the podium in the first race right away was fantastic. To win the second race is incredible. I still can’t believe it all! Of course, we also had a bit of luck, but we also had super good pace with the car. Overall, I'm very happy with the weekend. I feel really comfortable in the team. It's a great environment with great people, everything is perfect. Elias is also a cool team-mate. He is very fast and I can learn a lot from him. We have become good friends by now, everything works really well.”
Tom Kalender, LANDGRAF Motorsport #1

“That was a really good first weekend for us. With second place in the first race and victory in the second, the season could hardly have got off to a better start. I’m very happy about that. Tom has done a good job as the youngest winner in the ADAC GT Masters. I'm also very proud of him as a team-mate because the pressure to drive at the front is very high. He didn’t make any mistakes throughout the weekend and the team worked perfectly. I can’t thank the crew enough. Today we can celebrate, but tomorrow we have to concentrate on the next tests and races and keep working hard to maintain this level.”
Elias Seppänen, LANDGRAF Motorsport #1