- Lucas Auer finishes fourth in opening race
- Maro Engel in the top ten in both races in hot summer conditions
- Salman Owega and Elias Seppänen score maiden ADAC GT Masters race win
Over 100,000 spectators made the journey to the Norisring in Nuremberg during the weekend, the circuit with the long heritage that hosted the third race weekend of the 2023 DTM season. In hot summer conditions with temperatures over 30 degrees Centigrade on both race days, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing earned hard-fought top ten results in both races. Once again, the highlight on the DTM calendar attracted several VIPs including Mercedes-AMG’s ex-Formula 1 test and replacement driver Nick Heidfeld and Euro football champion Thomas Helmer. At the occasion of the event, ADAC also presented the new DTM champion’s trophy that Mercedes-AMG is keen to bring back to Affalterbach after a one-year break at the end of the season.
Valuable points for Auer and Engel on Saturday
In the Norisring DTM race on Saturday, two Mercedes-AMG GT3s finished in the top 10. Lucas Auer (AUT) again put in a strong performance and was in contention for a podium result until the end. In the Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD car with starting number 22, last year’s DTM runner-up worked his way up from eighth on the grid to fourth. The perfect work by the WINWARD pit crew that completed the two fastest pit stops of the entire field played a considerable role in this achievement. Maro Engel (GER) staged an even more impressive recovery with the Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER car: the Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador moved up from 14th on the grid to seventh. Another driver to finish in the points was Mercedes-AMG Team HRT’s Arjun Maini (IND). The Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver crossed the finish line in 13th place.
Engel best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver after recovery drive on Sunday
The second race of the weekend on Sunday also saw two Mercedes-AMG GT3s ending up in the top 10. Once again, Maro Engel managed an entertaning recovery drive. The German had started the race from 18th on the grid and finished ninth as the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver by virtue of a faultless performance and an optimal strategy. Next up behind Engel, his fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Luca Stolz (GER) and Lucas Auer finished in tenth and eleventh place respectively. Auer underlined his good performance in the second race as well, having started from 16th place on the grid. In the process, the Austrian again benefited from an outstanding pit stop: like on Saturday already, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD completed the quickest service of the entire field in the second race as well. Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver Arjun Maini scored the final championship point in 15th place. In the drivers’ standings, Engel remains within striking distance to the frontrunners: after six of 16 races, the 37-year-old is in fourth place. The next race weekend of the 2023 DTM will be held at the Nürburgring from August 4th till 6th.
First win of the season for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in ADAC GT Masters
Landgraf Motorsport’s Salman Owega (GER) and Elias Seppänen (FIN) racked up the first win of the season for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in ADAC GT Masters and the first-ever race win for themselves on Saturday. Only 18 years old, Owega laid the foundation for the undisputed win, having scored his maiden ADAC GT Masters pole position in qualifying. In the race, the German quickly pulled clear from his pursuers and handed the car to his teammate Seppänen with a comfortable lead. The Finn then safely brought victory home. Ralf Aron (EST) and Alain Valente (SUI) rounded out the outstanding Saturday result for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in fourth place with the #2 Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT3. In the second race, Salman Owega and Elias Seppänen finished fourth with Ralf Aron and Alain Valente next up.
“Especially with the Norisring being the only non-permanent race track on the DTM calendar, this race event at a street circuit has something extraordinary. Traditionally, it is hot and close battles are characteristic for this race. Unfortunately, we were unable to find any additional performance in our cars this weekend to be in contention for podium results. We weren’t far off, but tenths of a second are decisive at this track and in this strong DTM field. Still, our teams and drivers once again have given it their all and provided a good show. Particularly for the fans and customers of our brand that we were able to welcome in large crowds this weekend and who were rooting for us in spite of the heat. Now, the focus is on the next round at the Nürburgring and we will continue to attack.”
Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
“After the successful weekend at Zandvoort, it was more difficult for us again this time. Our fastest cars are closely together, but unfortunately, not in the position we had hoped for. We have to analyse the weekend exactly and then try to get close to the podium again. At the Nürburgring, our teams and drivers have always been relatively competitive. We will again meticulously prepare for the next race weekend and hope that we can find back onto the road to success.”
Thomas Jäger, sporting director DTM
“This weekend’s two races didn’t go as we had expected. We were doing well in both qualifyings, but in the races, we had bad luck on Saturday and didn’t have the necessary pace on Sunday. I can’t blame my guys in any way, they have done a great job again.”
Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4
“In hindsight, it has shown that an overcut with the pit stop perhaps would have been the better option for us today. We tried an undercut which worked out on Saturday. Today, I rejoined the race behind Luca Stolz and then I was stuck. That was all I could do. I gave it my all and I have to say that it was very hot in the car, extremely demanding.”
Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD #22
“It is quite frustrating indeed as our pace is okay. But it simply isn’t going well for us. I am certain that our streak of bad luck will soon come to an end and that we will then get the results that we deserve. I have to thank the team for keeping working hard. We just have to be patient.”
Arjun Maini, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #36
“These were two challenging races that went well for us. We got the maximum out o fit, also courtesy of an outstanding strategy and great pit stops. I would like to thank my team fort hat. Unfortunately, ending up all the way at the front was impossible for us this weekend. During weekends like these, you just have to get the best from your package and that is what we did. Atmosphere at the Norisring was sensational as ever. Seeing so many fans was great.”
Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER #48
“This was my first race weekend here at the Norisring and with that in mind, my pace wasn’t too bad. When everything was aligned, we were able to run in the top 10. Unfortunately, I made a few small mistakes in the first race that prevented a better result. And today, I dropped back a bit due to the dense traffic at the start. After that, I just wanted to keep the car undamaged and bring it home safely.”
Jusuf Owega, Mercedes-AMG Team BWT #84
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