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Rachit Thukral

Mercedes leads the way in official DTM test in Austria

Following its takeover of DTM from ITR, the ADAC organised two days of testing in Austria on Saturday and Sunday to help teams gear up for the new season.

Although there was heavy snow at Spielberg on Friday, the weather had mostly cleared by the time the test started on Saturday morning, allowing for two days of mostly dry-weather running.

Engel, who will race for the new Landgraf team as a works Mercedes driver in 2023, led the way at the Red Bull Ring with a time of 1m28.117s in his #48 AMG GT3.

The lap, set on Sunday, put him just 0.021s clear of van der Linde in the Schubert BMW.

Both Engel and van der Linde had missed the opening day of running to take part in the NLS in Germany, but were able to make the overnight journey to Austria to get some running under their belts.

Third place in the test went to HRT driver Arjun Maini, who triggered the only red flag on Saturday when his Mercedes stopped on track with a suspension problem.

Maini’s time of 1m28.363s left him just 0.025s clear of Turkish racer Ayhancan Guven, who has earned a full-time seat with Bernhard Porsche this year on the back of his impressive debut outing with the Red Bull AF Corse team in 2022.

Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann ended up fifth at the wheel of the new Project 1 BMW, less than three tenths off the benchmark set by countryman Engel.

The Project 1 team was unable to complete any running on Saturday due to Wittmann being away at the Nordschleife and its second car developing a technical issue.

Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 (Photo by: Alexander Trienitz)

Both cars hit the track for the first time on Sunday, with Dev Gore and Esteban Muth sharing the team’s second entry as they auditioned for the seat alongside Wittmann.

Sixth place in the test went to Engel’s teammate Yusuf Owega, who finished just 0.003s off the best time set by Wittmann.

Rene Rast completed his first official DTM session as a BMW driver at the Red Bull Ring, setting the quickest time on the opening day before improving to a 1m28.417s on Sunday.

This left him seventh overall, exactly three tenths down on Engel, but 0.047s up on Abt driver Ricardo Feller, who was the fastest driver from his former employer Audi.

Feller’s teammate Kelvin van der Linde finished a fraction of a second behind in ninth, while the top 10 was completed by Luca Stolz in the second HRT Mercedes.

Former Williams Formula 1 reserve Jack Aitken set a best time of 1m28.943s in an Emil Frey Racing Ferrari, finishing 19th in Sunday’s individual order.

Factory Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti was absent from the test to take part in the Portimao World Endurance Championship race for Prema. His place at SSR Performance was taken by GT World Challenge frontrunner Sandy Mitchell.

There were three red flags on the opening day of the running; the first was waved due to debris on track, the second when Stolz had to park his car with an open bonnet, and the final one was caused by one of the Emil Frey Ferraris stopping on track.

Day 2 results:

Position Driver Team Time Gap 
1 Maro Engel Landgraf-Mercedes 1:28.117  
2 Sheldon van der Linde Schubert-BMW 1:28.138 +0.021s
3 Arjun Maini HRT-Mercedes 1:28.363 +0.246s
4 Ayhancan Güven Bernhard-Porsche 1:28.388 +0.271s
5 Marco Wittmann Project-1-BMW 1:28.403 +0.286s
6 Jusuf Owega Landgraf-Mercedes 1:28.406 +0.289s
7 Rene Rast Schubert-BMW 1:28.417 +0.300s
8 Ricardo Feller Abt-Audi 1:28.463 +0.346s
9 Kelvin van der Linde Abt-Audi 1:28.481 +0.364s
10 Luca Stolz HRT-Mercedes 1:28.494 +0.377s
11 Dennis Olsen Manthey-EMA-Porsche 1:28.577 +0.460s
12 Thomas Preining Manthey-EMA-Porsche 1:28.603 +0.486s
13 Laurin Heinrich Bernhard-Porsche 1:28.611 +0.494s
14 David Schumacher Winward-Mercedes 1:28.741 +0.624s
15 Tim Heinemann Toksport-WRT-Porsche 1:28.777 +0.660s
16 Luca Engstler Engstler-Audi 1:28.787 +0.670s
17 Mick Wishofer Grasser-Lamborghini 1:28.795 +0.678s
18 Clemens Schmid Grasser-Lamborghini 1:28.935 +0.818s
19 Jack Aitken Emil-Frey-Ferrari 1:28.943 +0.826s
20 Franck Perera SSR-Lamborghini 1:28.980 +0.863s
21 Thierry Vermeulen Emil-Frey-Ferrari 1:28.994 +0.877s
22 Christian Engelhart Toksport-WRT-Porsche 1:29.053 +0.936s
23 Sandy Mitchell SSR-Lamborghini 1:29.132 +1.015s
24 Alessio Deledda SSR-Lamborghini 1:29.853 +1.736s
25 Dev Gore/Esteban Muth Project-1-BMW 1:29.874 +1.757s

Day 1 results:

Position Driver Team Time Gap
1 Rene Rast Schubert-BMW 1:28.469  
2 Kelvin van der Linde Abt-Audi 1:28.481 +0.012s
3 Ricardo Feller Abt-Audi 1:28.513 +0.044s
4 David Schumacher Winward-Mercedes 1:28.741 +0.272s
5 Jusuf Owega Landgraf-Mercedes 1:28.771 +0.302s
6 Mick Wishofer Grasser-Lamborghini 1:28.902 +0.433s
7 Ayhancan Güven Bernhard-Porsche 1:29.029 +0.560s
8 Luca Engstler Engstler-Audi 1:29.053 +0.584s
9 Arjun Maini HRT-Mercedes 1:29.074 +0.605s
10 Laurin Heinrich Bernhard-Porsche 1:29.099 +0.630s
11 Tim Heinemann Toksport-WRT-Porsche 1:29.109 +0.640s
12 Jack Aitken Emil-Frey-Ferrari 1:29.116 +0.647s
13 Clemens Schmid Grasser-Lamborghini 1:29.139 +0.670s
14 Franck Perera SSR-Lamborghini 1:29.168 +0.699s
15 Luca Stolz HRT-Mercedes 1:29.179 +0.710s
16 Thierry Vermeulen Emil-Frey-Ferrari 1:29.188 +0.719s
17 Thomas Preining Manthey-EMA-Porsche 1:29.210 +0.741s
18 Christian Engelhart Toksport-WRT-Porsche 1:29.330 +0.861s
19 Dennis Olsen Manthey-EMA-Porsche 1:29.397 +0.928s
20 Sandy Mitchell SSR-Lamborghini 1:29.417 +0.948s
21 Alessio Deledda SSR-Lamborghini 1:30.488 +1.019s


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