- Early pit stop enables Luca Stolz to claim third place in Sunday race
- Five Mercedes-AMG GT3s collect valuable championship points at Lausitz
- Lucas Auer reduces the gap in the drivers‘ standings with fourth and sixth place
- ADAC GT4 Germany: Victory for Denis Bulatov and Marc de Fulgencio on Sunday
With a podium success on Sunday and a total of seven point-scoring results, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing got the second half of the DTM season off to a successful start. Luca Stolz (GER), racing for Mercedes-AMG Team HRT, finished third on Sunday. He concluded the fifth race weekend at DEKRA Lausitzring as the Mercedes-AMG Driver with the highest point score. Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD’s Lucas Auer (AUT) finished fourth on Saturday and sixth on Sunday. In the process, the Performance Drivers not only had to keep the strong opposition at bay, but also had to overcome challenging hot summer temperatures at the 3.4 kilometres long track.
Sunday: the right strategy decision enables Luca Stolz to claim third place
These difficult conditions were also apparent in qualifying on Sunday morning as a red flag with five minutes and six seconds remaining interfered with the teams’ plans. As the remaining time was insufficient to bring the tyres into the optimum operational window, the closing stages turned out to be thrilling. In dense traffic, Luca Stolz became the best-placed Mercedes-AMG Driver, putting the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in sixth place on the grid. David Schumacher (GER) ended up seventh with the #27 Mercedes-AMG GT3, his teammate Lucas Auer was classified eighth.
As overtaking at Lausitzring is traditionally difficult, tactics played a decisive role in the race in the afternoon. Luca Stolz and Lucas Auer were among the first to head into the pit lane as the pit stop window opened. Subsequently Stolz immediately brought the fresh tyres on his #4 GT3 to the right temperature and thus worked his way up into a virtual fourth place as a result. Soon after that, he made use of this tyre advantage for a successful overtaking move on track and therefore was third as the race entered its final stage.
The two cars leading the field lost a lot of time in their duel for victory, allowing Stolz to close the gap on the final few laps. The experienced DTM driver brought third place home, around 1.5 second down on the winner, securing his second podium result this season in the process. Lucas Auer also held on to his position and finished in sixth place. Arjun Maini, racing for Mercedes-AMG Team HRT, scored two points by virtue of his 14th-place finish in his 40th DTM race. David Schumacher, who initially also was on course for a point-scoring finish, had to park his Mercedes-AMG GT3 prematurely following a collision.
ADAC GT4 Germany: BCMC Motorsport powered by EastSide Motorsport wins with new driver line-up
Sunday was also successful for BCMC Motorsport powered by EastSide Motorsport. The team with Denis Bulatov (GER), who had a new teammate in Marc de Fulgencio (ESP) for this weekend, managed to decide the second ADAC GT4 Germany race in its favour. From second place on the grid, the duo claimed victory with the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT4. As a result, Bulatov is in second place of the drivers’ standings after eight of twelve races.
Saturday: four Mercedes-AMG GT3s finish in the points in DTM race 1
Lucas Auer already confirmed his current strong form behind the wheel of the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in first qualifying on Saturday morning. The reigning runner-up, who had claimed his maiden DTM race win at this track back in 2016, qualified third on the grid and therefore already scored his first championship point of the weekend before the race. Luca Stolz took on the Saturday race from ninth position.
The start in the early afternoon saw all six Mercedes-AMG GT3 making it through the first corner without any damage while some were able to make up multiple positions. Following an early safety car intervention, positions were taken for a while until the mandatory pit stop led to further changes. Lucas Auer and Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD opted for an early pit stop. On cold tyres and with five kilograms of success ballast from Nürburgring on board, he had to let a rival pull away soon after that and concluded the one-hour race in fourth place. Luca Stolz ran with the same strategy but benefited from a quick tyre change by Mercedes-AMG Team HRT that saw him move up to sixth place.
Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FITLER’s Maro Engel (GER) also showed a remarkable performance. In spite of 19th place on the grid and an early penalty lap, the Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador finished 13th, scoring three championship points in the process. His teammate Jusuf Owega (GER) of Mercedes-AMG Team BWT, fastest in Friday’s second free practice, finished one place further down. The fact that the heat – an air temperature of over 35 degrees was temporarily indicated – demanded everything from the drivers, mechanics and machinery was proven by the long list of retirements: ten out of 28 participants weren’t classified on Saturday for various reasons.
Lucas Auer is fifth, Maro Engel is sixth in the standings heading to Sachsenring
Lucas Auer reduced the gap to the leader to 44 points and is now in fifth place of the in the drivers’ standings at 94 points. Maro Engel follows in sixth place at 81 points. The pair will get the next opportunity to catch up on 9th and 10th September as DTM returns to Sachsenring after a 20-year absence. Next up are the rounds at Red Bull Ring (23rd/24th September) and the season finale in Hockenheim (21st/22nd October).
“Congratulations to Luca Stolz and Mercedes-AMG Team HRT for this hard-fought podium finish. Lucas Auer and das Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD have also achieved a solid points’ haul, which is very important for the championship. It is a pity that Mercedes-AMG Team Landgraf and Maro Engel had to take in a setback with the retirement on Sunday. The field was very closely together throughout the weekend, so that tyre management placed a decisive role in qualifying. This is where we have to work on so that our teams can end up even further at the front in future. Congratulations also to the BCMC Motorsport powered by EastSide Motorsport team that was able to win the ADAC GT4 Germany race with a new driver pairing today.”
Thomas Jäger, Sporting Director DTM
“With sixth place yesterday and the podium result today, it was a very good weekend for us. The team has given it its all and has done a super job. We had a quick stop and subsequently I got a strong out lap in. I am happy that we rewarded ourselves with the podium finish. Now, it is important to build on this success when heading to Sachsenring. Then, hopefully, we will be even in contention for victory.”
Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4
“Because of the heat, the two races were incredibly tough. After the good qualifying and fourth place in the race, I am happy with my Saturday, even though a podium finish perhaps would have been possible. Today, on the other hand, I am really disappointed. From eighth on the grid, there were some opportunities, but in the race, we simply weren’t fast enough to move up further. Still, we scored valuable points again by finishing sixth.”
Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD #22
“On Friday, it looked very good and we definitely had a good pace. Unfortunately, the two poor qualifying sessions dominated my weekend. At Lausitzring, overtaking is very difficult and there is always contact on the midfield with damage to the car. Accordingly, the two races were tough for me, it was more about making it through one way or another.”
Jusuf Owega, Mercedes-AMG Team BWT #84
“This was a mediocre weekend for us. Sadly, I was pushed off the track in a not to smooth way on Sunday and we had to park our car soon after that. Even though I managed to score points on Saturday, we have to forget about this weekend very quickly, keep on working and do better in the next round at Sachsenring.”
Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER #48