DTM in Portimao: Mercedes double victory, Schumacher on debut 20.

DTM boss Gerhard Berger should like this start to the season: not only does his nephew Lucas Auer win the opening race in Portimao, with five different brands in the first seven places, the DTM demonstrates great variety and balance right from the first race.

The jubilation at the end is particularly loud at Mercedes: While things are currently not going well for the Stuttgart company in Formula 1, the brand with the star can even celebrate a double victory in Portugal on Saturday: Auer (Winward) ends up 0.85 Seconds ahead of fellow Mercedes driver Luca Stolz (HRT). For the Austrian, who started third, it is the fifth victory of his DTM career.

Third is GRT Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti. Bitter: The Italian starts from pole and leads almost the entire race. However, a weak restart after a safety car phase, triggered by teammate Rolf Ineichen of all people, causes him to fall far behind. With a strong final sprint and overtaking maneuver at the beginning of the last lap, Bortolotti still secured the last place on the podium.

Winner Auer (2nd from right) is happy, Bortolotti (right) less

“Mirko’s problem at the restart was of course my luck today, I have to admit that,” says Sieger Auer. “It was a tough, but also a great race: We had good pace, a good strategy and a good pit stop. I’m really happy that the hard work was rewarded,” said the Mercedes driver happily.

The best Audi in fourth place is Kelvin van der Linde (ABT). Dennis Olsen’s SSR Porsche immediately behind caused a surprise. In 2022, the people from Zuffenhausen will be racing in the DTM for the first time in their long history and, thanks to Olsen and Laurens Vanthoor, will already score double points. The same applies to BMW, for whom Sheldon van der Linde and Philipp Eng (both Schubert) finished in the top 10 at the DTM debut of the new M4 GT3.

Götz misses points, Schumacher sees the checkered flag

Defending champion Maximilian Götz, on the other hand, only finished 11th and got nothing – just like rally legend Sébastien Loeb: The nine-time WRC champion did a good job on Saturday and ended his commitment in the AF Corse Ferrari in 16th place.

David Schumacher’s (Winward-Mercedes) DTM debut also went well. Ralf Schumacher’s son finished 20th and fought a nice duel with Lamborghini driver Clemens Schmid. “Now the first race is over,” says Schumacher. “I’m quite satisfied. I still have to get used to the car, try to learn more, then the performance will come naturally.”

Let’s go: The DTM has started the new season

However, several former champions and long-time DTM stars are unlucky at the start: Nico Müller (Rosberg-Audi) retires after just three laps due to a collision: “Shit happens,” comments the Swiss. A short time later, Marco Wittmann (Walkenhorst-BMW) also retired with a technical defect.

Comebacker René Rast (ABT-Audi) falls victim to the turmoil at the restart. “I accelerated, but those in front of me didn’t get away at all,” explains Rast. The consequence: He rushes into the rear of Felipe Fraga (AF-Corse-Ferrari), both have to end their workday early after the contact.

The second round of the DTM in Portimao takes place on Sunday (1 p.m., live on Sat.1).

DTM in Portimao – 1st race

1. Lucas Auer (Austria) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 57:55.325 min.
2. Luca Stolz (Brachbach) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +0.851 sec.
3. Mirko Bortolotti (Italy) – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 +1.811
4. Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa) – Audi R8 GT3 +3.053
5. Dennis Olsen (Norway) – Porsche 911 GT3 R +3.406
6. Ricardo Feller (Switzerland) – Audi R8 GT3 +4.405
7. Sheldon van der Linde (South Africa) – BMW M4 GT3 +4.768
8. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) – Porsche 911 GT3 R +5.365
9. Philipp Eng (Austria) – BMW M4 GT3 +7.399
10. Maro Engel (Munich) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +7.468

Driver Rating
Standing after 1 of 16 races

1. Lucas Auer (Austria) – Mercedes 26 pts.
2. Luca Stolz (Brachbach) – Mercedes-Benz 19
3. Mirko Bortolotti (Italy) – Lamborghini 18
4. Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa) – Audi 12
5. Dennis Olsen (Norway) – Porsche 10
6. Ricardo Feller (Switzerland) – Audi 8
7. Sheldon van der Linde (South Africa) – BMW 6
8. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) – Porsche 4th
9. Philipp Eng (Austria) – BMW 2nd
10. Mika„l Grenier (Canada) – Mercedes 2nd

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