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Autosport

DTM Portimao: Muller takes dominant win for Audi

Having qualified on pole position for the first time in the DTM’s GT3 era, Team Rosberg’s Muller was virtually unchallenged in Sunday’s 33 lap contest in Portugal, beating Fraga to victory by over three seconds.

The Swiss driver made a clean start from pole and was already a second up the road by lap 3, as Fraga moved past the Grasser Racing Lamborghini of Mirko Bortolotti to grab second.

Fraga was the first frontrunner to head to the pitlane, switching to a fresh set of tyres as soon as the pit window opened at the end of lap 6.

Muller dived into the pits a lap later to cover the Brazilian racer and duly rejoined the track with an increased lead of two seconds, with Bortolotti remaining behind the duo in third after his own pitstop on lap 8.

Fraga tried to put the pressure on Muller with the fastest lap of the race on the next tour, but the Team Rosberg driver was never really threatened as he cruised to a comfortable win with an extended margin of 3.4s.

It marked Muller’s first race win in the DTM since the 2020 season finale at Hockenheim, as well as the first for Team Rosberg since it propelled Rene Rast to a third title the same year as a full-factory squad.

Bortolotti couldn’t challenge either Muller or Fraga with 5kg of ballast on his Lamborghini, having previously led much of Saturday’s race until a technical issue struck him at the restart, but the third-place finish means he leaves Portimao as the championship leader.

Podium: Race winner Nico Müller, Team Rosberg, second place Felipe Fraga, AF Corse, third place Mirko Bortolotti, Grasser Racing Team, Kimmo Liimatainen, Team principal Audi Sport Team Rosberg (Photo by: Alexander Trienitz)

Walkenhorst BMW driver Marco Wittmann rebounded from a DNF on Saturday to finish fourth in the second race of the weekend, passing the Winward Mercedes of Maximilian Gotz into Turn 1 at the start of lap 16.

Gotz had risen from 10th to fifth on the opening lap and gained a further position over the struggling Lucas Auer after his pitstop, but couldn’t continue his charge in the second half of the race, ending up fifth ahead of the top Abt Audi of Kelvin van der Linde.

Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor secured a solid haul of points for SSR Performance in seventh, four seconds clear of the Schubert BMW of Sheldon van der Linde.

Completing the top 10 were Abt Audi driver Ricardo Feller and GruppeM Mercedes’ Maro Engel.

Rene Rast’s search for first points on his DTM return continued as he struggled to 12th place in the third of the three Abt Audis, having retired from Saturday’s opening race due to contact at the restart.

WRC legend Sebastien Loeb rounded off his maiden weekend in the DTM in 18th after pitting as late as lap 22 of 33, gaining one place towards the end on fresh tyres.

Saturday race winner Auer was running in a net fifth position early in the race, but dropped down the order shortly after his mandatory stop. He was forced to peel back into the pits shortly afterwards, suggesting his tyres may not have been fitted properly the first time. The Austrian driver managed to stay on the lead lap but crossed the line in 22nd place.

DTM Portimao race two results - 33 laps:

 
Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 56'59.568  
2 Brazil Felipe Fraga Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 57'02.983 3.415
3 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 57'08.015 8.447
4 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 57'09.851 10.283
5 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'12.302 12.734
6 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 57'13.121 13.553
7 Belgium Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 911 GT3 R 57'13.917 14.349
8 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 57'17.570 18.002
9 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 57'19.322 19.754
10 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'21.147 21.579
11 Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R 57'21.978 22.410
12 Germany René Rast Audi R8 LMS Evo II 57'22.534 22.966
13 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'23.189 23.621
14 Belgium Esteban Muth BMW M4 GT3 57'27.422 27.854
15 Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'27.733 28.165
16 Germany Marius Zug Audi R8 LMS Evo II 57'34.453 34.885
17 Germany Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 57'36.511 36.943
18 France Sébastien Loeb Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 57'47.385 47.817
19 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 57'49.593 50.025
20 United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo II 58'00.404 1'00.836
21 United Kingdom Esmee Hawkey Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 58'07.708 1'08.140
22 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 58'10.936 1'11.368
23 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 58'28.157 1'28.589
  Canada Mikael Grenier Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 39'57.596 10 Laps
  Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 4'18.695 31 Laps
  Denmark Nicki Thiim Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2'16.035 32 Laps
  Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'30.174 32 Laps
  Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 GT3    
  Switzerland Rolf Ineichen Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo