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Race report
DTM Norisring

DTM Norisring: Thiim scores first series win in Race 2

Thiim takes emotional triumph at Norisring

Denmark's Nicki Thiim became the first son of a former DTM winner to also claim a series victory as he took an emotional triumph in Sunday's clash at the Norisring.

As was the case on Saturday, the first part of the race was uneventful. The top four on the grid maintained their positions at another clean and tidy start, meaning SSR Performance Lamborghini driver Thiim (son of Kurt) led team-mate Mirko Bortolotti, Maro Engel (Winward Racing Mercedes) and points leader Kelvin van der Linde (Abt Sportsline Audi).

Next along during the first stint were Luca Stolz (Team HRT Mercedes), Jack Aitken (Emil Frey Racing Ferrari), Thomas Preining (Manthey EMA Porsche) and Arjun Maini (Team HRT Mercedes).

Then, with 20 minutes of the hour-long race gone, the pit window opened. And with none of Saturday's weather demons on the horizon, most of the pack were in early. And that's when the race really came alive.

Engel and Kelvin van der Linde were among the first to stop, the German's Mercedes arguably only maintaining its position through a dubious release into the South African driver's path. But the resulting clear air made all the difference for Engel, who used it to build up a run on Bortolotti as the Italian emerged from his stop one lap later. Engel launched a move into Turn 1 and completed the second part of the Esses.

While the perfectly executed undercut tied up second place for Engel, the three-corner battle cost both him and Bortolotti time just as Thiim was making his own stop. That was great news for the Dane, who emerged with an effective race lead of over six seconds.

Others to gain during the stops were Maini and Saturday's winner Rene Rast (Schubert Motorsport BMW), who were fourth and fifth when it all shook out. Losers included Kelvin van der Linde, who complained he'd had to brake thanks to Engel's release and then clashed trying to get around Aitken at the Esses, which cost both drivers time.

A late safety car, which pulled in with under five minutes left on the clock, had no impact on the top five: Thiim brought it home for a tearful, long-awaited victory.

The main mover after the restart was Preining, who entertained the Norisring faithful with passes on Sheldon van der Linde (Schubert Motorsport BMW) and then Stolz to claim sixth place.

The SSR team had additional grounds for celebration as Bortolotti moved into the lead of the drivers' championship. With Kelvin van der Linde only managing 10th place, he's now six points behind Bortolotti as the season moves into its second half.

DTM Norisring Race 2 Results

Cla   Driver   Car / Engine   Delay 
Nicki Thiim Lamborghini  
Maro Engel Mercedes 0.777
Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini 1.880
Arjun Maini Mercedes 3.098
René Rast BMW 4.023
Thomas Preining Porsche 5.211
Luca Stolz Mercedes 5.661
S.van der Linde BMW 6.665
Ayhancan Guven Porsche 8.157
10  K.van der Linde Audi 8.489
11  Jack Aitken Ferrari 9.215
12  Lucas Auer Mercedes 9.575
13  Marco Wittmann BMW 10.598
14  Ricardo Feller Audi 11.003
15  Franck Perera Lamborghini 11.513
16  T.Vermeulen Ferrari 12.304
17  Ben Dörr McLaren 15.289
18  Clemens Schmid McLaren 18.093
19  Luca Engstler Lamborghini  
Maximilian Paul Lamborghini  

 

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