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Race report
DTM Norisring

DTM Norisring: Rast wins mixed-weather opening race

Three-time DTM champion Rast scores first win of 2024 on Nuremberg's tricky street circuit by staying out in rain shower

Rene Rast came out on top of a mixed-weather first race at the Norisring today, calling the conditions exactly right to win for Schubert Motorsport and BMW.

The start was cleaner and tidier than some seen during the course of the Norisring's long DTM history. Behind poleman Jack Aitken (Emil Frey Racing Ferrari), Rast's team-mate Sheldon van der Linde slotted dutifully into second with Mirko Bortolotti (SSR Performance Lamborghini) taking up third position.

The top six, completed by Maro Engel's Winward Mercedes, Rast and points leader Kelvin van der Linde (Abt Audi), had settled into position by midway around the second lap.

Things then remained largely unmoved through the first half of the race, as teams kept a beady eye on the weather. With heavy rain forecast to arrive during the 20-minute pitstop window, strategy was likely to be more decisive than any on-track moves.

Anticipation only grew as the stewards declared a wet race, and most teams delayed their stops until late in the window. Just to make things even harder, the rain stayed away until the very end of it.

Sheldon van der Linde had been first to blink, his undercut working as he emerged in front of Aitken to grab the lead. Both, however, were on slicks and rain began to fall heavily with 17 minutes remaining in the hour-long race.

While the likes of Sheldon van der Linde and Aitken returned to the pits for wet tyres, along with most of the others who had put on slicks during the pit window, new lead duo Rast and Franck Perera (GRT-Grasser Lamborghini) elected to stay out.

Both could already see the rain easing and trusted themselves to bring it home on slicks. That proved exactly the right choice as slicks were the tyres to have by the chequered flag and Rast triumphed in a terrific strategic battle.

Factory Lamborghini driver Perera, standing in for Christian Engelhart after the German underwent a knee operation, was joined on the rostrum by team-mate Luca Engstler.

He'd been nowhere early in the race after starting 15th, but also called it right by staying out and roared through on his slicks to claim third with a couple of laps remaining.

Nicki Thiim (SSR) and Bortolotti completed a strong day for Lamborghini as the marque locked out four of the top-five positions, while Kelvin van der Linde beat his brother to sixth.

Aitken slipped back to finish ninth at the finish, behind Engel, as Maximilian Paul completed the top 10.

Cla   Driver   Car / Engine   Delay 
Rene Rast BMW  
Franck Perera Lamborghini 2.272
Luca Engstler Lamborghini 37.075
Nicki Thiim Lamborghini 44.111
Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini 44.479
K.van der Linde Audi 44.956
S.van der Linde BMW 47.506
Maro Engel Mercedes 50.850
Jack Aitken Ferrari 53.488
10  Maximilian Paul Lamborghini 53.749
11  Luca Stolz Mercedes  
12  Marco Wittmann BMW  
13  Ricardo Feller Audi  
14  Thomas Preining Porsche  
15  Arjun Maini Mercedes  
16  Ayhancan Guven Porsche  
17  T.Vermeulen Ferrari  
18  Clemens Schmid McLaren  
Lucas Auer Mercedes  
Ben Dörr McLaren  

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