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DTM Zandvoort

DTM adjusts rule that cost Porsche's Preining victory at Oschersleben

The DTM has made changes to the controversial pitstop rule that denied Porsche’s Thomas Preining victory in the season opener at Oschersleben last month.

Thomas Preining, Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3-R

Manthey EMA driver Preining was on course to win the second race at Oschersleben from pole position until he was handed a long-lap penalty for a pitstop infringement, dropping him to third at the finish.

A Manthey EMA mechanic was found to have briefly left the rear tyre on the ground in the pitlane while he closed his fireproof suit, contravening a rule which states that the tyre must be held in the air at all times using muscle power after entering the pitlane.

Preining wasn't the only one to fall prey to this rule at Oschersleben, with three other drivers penalised for the same offence over the weekend.

The rule was introduced to prevent tyres from being placed on the ground and being collected by other cars. But the DTM has now been compelled to make a change following the events of the opening two races of the season.

In a clarification issued by race director Sven Stoppe ahead of the second round on Monday, the DTM said that the mechanics are still required to secure the rear wheel after crossing the line into the working lane. However, the requirement for the wheel to be held in the air (and hence not touching the ground) has been dropped.

Instead, the mechanics are now allowed "to place the rear wheel in question on its tread or part of its tread on the surface of the working lane." In addition, both hands do not have to touch the rear wheel at all times and mechanics can now simply "stabilise it in its position with at least one hand using its own muscle power."

As long as the wheel remains stable using one hand, the DTM feels that it doesn't compromise the safety of anyone present in the pitlane. Moreover, the series doesn't want the mechanics to hold heavy tyres for up to half a minute until the car stops in the pitlane and then loses its strength when actually performing the pitstop.

Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team Landgraf Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3

Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team Landgraf Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Long-lap penalty

The DTM has introduced a MotoGP-style long-lap penalty system in 2023 following its takeover by the ADAC, but its application is slightly different. As per the rulebook, once a penalty has been announced, the driver 'may not cross the finish line more than once' before taking the wider loop at 50km/h. 

At Oschersleben, Preining completed a second lap before finally serving his penalty - but no action was taken in this regard. It is understood that race director Stoppe wanted to be lenient as it was the first time the rule was put into force, with the procedure being completely new to teams who do not have experience racing in GT Masters.

It remains unclear how strict the series will be in the timely application of the long-lap penalty at Zandvoort this weekend.

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