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Rachit Thukral

DTM Spa: Olsen beats Gotz to first victory through showers

Olsen made a clean start from pole position in his SSR Performance Porsche to lead the field after lap 1, while Winward Mercedes driver Auer got the jump on Thomas Preining's Bernhard Porsche on the run up to Raidillon.

Auer maintained the pressure on Olsen for the entire first stint, keeping the gap under a second with a series of fastest laps. The Austrian then rolled the dice by pitting early on lap eight for his mandatory stop, but the attempted undercut backfired when a fumbled tyre change cost him at least three seconds.

This meant that Olsen could come into the pits the following lap and still come out in the net lead, while Auer was forced to repass both Laurens Vanthoor and Maximilian Gotz when they made their respective stops later in the race.

Olsen was well clear of Auer when the Mercedes suffered a sudden puncture exiting Eau Rouge, forcing him to retire.

After Auer’s exit it was his Winward team-mate Gotz who emerged as Olsen’s closest challenger. The defending champion managed to close within a second of the Norwegian with four laps to go, as a sudden bout of rain in the first sector threw a spanner in the works.

But the rain subsided quickly and Olsen was able to hang on to the top spot by just 0.818s, clinching Porsche’s second-ever victory in the DTM following Preining’s triumph at the Norisring in July.

Second nevertheless marked a first podium finish of the season for Gotz, whose previous best-result of 2022 was a fourth at the Nurburgring.

Race winner Dennis Olsen, SSR Performance Porsche 911 GT3-R (Photo by: Alexander Trienitz)

Preining made it two Porsches on the rostrum after successfully recovering from a major tank slapper at Raidillon on the opening lap that initially dropped him to ninth.

Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast made a sluggish start from ninth on the grid and fell to 10th place, but recovered lost ground by going long in the first stint, climbing up to fourth at the finish.

Rast’s Abt Audi team-mate Kelvin van der Linde finished a strong fifth, while Team Rosberg’s Nico Muller made it three cars from the Ingolstadt-based marque inside the top six.

Red Bull driver Felipe Fraga was classified seventh in the lead AF Corse Ferrari, while Grasser Lamborghini’s Mirko Bortolotti charged from 20th on the grid to finish eighth, making most of his moves in tricky conditions in the final laps of the race.

Walkenhorst BMW’s Marco Wittmann followed Bortolotti after his own poor qualifying, moving up to ninth on the final lap after overtaking Fraga's team-mate Nick Cassidy and David Schumacher in the third Winward Mercedes.

Cassidy eventually picked up the final point in 10th, while Schumacher just held off championship leader Sheldon van der Linde - who had qualified down in 22nd - for 11th at the flag.

With just five races to go, Schubert BMW driver van der Linde continues to lead the championship on 110 points, with Rast now level with Bortolotti on 93 points.

Auer would have moved up to 103 points had he not retired from the race while running in second.

DTM Spa Race 1 Results (23 laps)

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R 54'34.994  
2 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 54'35.812 0.818
3 Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R 54'41.966 6.972
4 Germany René Rast Audi R8 LMS Evo II 54'51.121 16.127
5 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 54'55.766 20.772
6 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 54'56.096 21.102
7 Brazil Felipe Fraga Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 54'57.498 22.504
8 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 55'02.630 27.636
9 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 55'04.313 29.319
10 New Zealand Nick Cassidy Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 55'04.990 29.996
11 Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 55'06.110 31.116
12 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 55'06.168 31.174
13 Belgium Esteban Muth BMW M4 GT3 55'06.414 31.420
14 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 55'06.660 31.666
15 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 55'07.534 32.540
16 Germany Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 55'07.811 32.817
17 Germany Marius Zug Audi R8 LMS Evo II 55'10.690 35.696
18 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 55'10.797 35.803
19 Switzerland Rolf Ineichen Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 55'34.310 59.316
20 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 56'03.287 1'28.293
21 United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo II 56'42.877 2'07.883
22 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 53'48.738 1 Lap
  Canada Mikael Grenier Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 38'05.256 7 Laps
  Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 40'03.143 7 Laps
  Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 35'43.859 9 Laps
  Belgium Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 911 GT3 R 31'19.378 10 Laps
  Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 GT3 17'25.188 16 Laps
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