DTM: Lucas Auer announces victory, Liam Lawson extends lead

Lucas Auer’s satisfaction was clear to see. Finally the nephew of DTM boss Gerhard Berger was able to set another highlight. A splash of color in what was for him a rather gray and dreary DTM season: Auer drove confidently from pole position to his first win of the season in the twelfth race in Assen on Sunday. So the Austrian finally has a reason to laugh again in the DTM. Also because a week ago he announced that he was dissatisfied with his season and that he finally wanted to win races again.

No sooner said than done, you might think, a victory with an announcement. “Maybe I have to talk more about the fact that I want to win races,” he laughed: “But it was just a great day. Start, strategy, pit stop: it was just perfect,” said Auer.

Auer is an old hand at the DTM, but in a way also a rookie. He drove for Mercedes in the DTM from 2015 to 2018, then for BMW in 2020. GT3 cars, as they will be used for the first time in the DTM in 2021, were, however, uncharted territory for him.

Berger increased the pressure

But Berger did not accept that before the season, he had increased the pressure on his nephew when he made it clear that Auer would have to fight for the title in 2021. But Auer was always able to score points before his victory, with the exception of the first race in Monza, but drove too much under the radar for his circumstances. Until Assen he was on the podium only once. Not enough for the big hit.
He can’t exactly explain his comeback at the top of the podium. “If I had known beforehand what to do differently, I would have done it,” he said. The Winward team also plays a role. “It shows how good the team is, how well we work together. I was able to help with some of my experience, but I was able to learn more from them because of the GT3 cars.” But it is too late to catch up, Auer is seventh overall after the sixth DTM victory of his career, the 26-year-old has 96 points on the account. Too little for the title fight.

Lucas Auer celebrates his first win of the season.

The four drivers continue to make up among themselves, with advantages for Liam Lawson. Because the AF Corse driver extended his lead as overall leader by placing second behind Auer, the New Zealander has 175 points four races to go. The title competition is on his heels.

Marco Wittmann also finished third on the podium, the Walkenhorst driver is Lawson’s first pursuer with 165 points. Third overall is Kelvin van der Linde (Abt-Audi), he was fourth behind Wittmann and now has 160 points. Maximilian Götz has to tear something down in the title four-way battle. The HRT driver was only sixth, he has 155 points.

The four-way battle for the title comes to a head

Four drivers, four more races – what do the protagonists say about the showdown in Hockenheim (October 1-3) and at the Norisring (October 8-10)? “We all tested at Hockenheim, we should all have a good basis there. I’ve never been to the Norisring, I only know the circuit in the simulator. It looks great,” said Lawson.

Wittmann continues to bet on the Konstanz card, he is the only driver in the field who has always been able to score. “Now it depends on who makes the best of the last four races. Hockenheim will be tight between all drivers and brands. At the Norisring there is a question mark because there has never been a GT3 race there. It will depend on Constance again , This is how I approach the last races. Anything is possible, “said Wittmann.

Van der Linde, who announced a hot final spurt, sees it that way: “At the Norisring, the parts will fly”. And Götz? He admitted: “We had to give up, it was no longer possible, you have to accept that. But I don’t stress myself, because everything is still possible.”

DTM in Assen
2nd race:

1. Lucas Auer (Austria) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 57: 38.012 min.
2. Liam Lawson (New Zealand) – Ferrari 488 GT3 +0.593 sec.
3. Marco Wittmann (Fürth) – BMW M6 GT3 +11.456
4. Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa) – Audi R8 LMS GT3 +11,957
5. Alexander Albon (Thailand) – Ferrari 488 GT3 +12.357
6. Maximilian Götz (Uffenheim) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +13.017
7. Mirko Bortolotti (Italy) – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 +13,634
8. Nico Müller (Switzerland) – Audi R8 LMS GT3 +14.014
9. Vincent Abril (France) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +16,040
10. Esteban Muth (Belgium) – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 +20.272

Driver ranking, status after 12 of 16 races:

1. Liam Lawson (New Zealand) – Ferrari 175 pts.
2. Marco Wittmann (Fürth) – BMW 165
3. Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa) – Audi 160
4. Maximilian Götz (Uffenheim) – Mercedes 155
5. Philip Ellis (Great Britain) – Mercedes 109
6. Alexander Albon (Thailand) – Ferrari 104
7. Lucas Auer (Austria) – Mercedes 96
8. Mike Rockenfeller (Landschlacht / Switzerland) – Audi 62
9. Sheldon van der Linde (South Africa) – BMW 55
10. Nico Müller (Switzerland) – Audi 52

Manufacturer rating, status after 12 of 16 races:

1. Mercedes 426 pts.
2. Ferrari 279
3. Audi 278
4. BMW 228
5. Lamborghini 44

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