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Race report
DTM Algarve

Portimao DTM: Muller takes dominant Sunday win for Audi

Audi driver Nico Muller led the second DTM race at Portimao from start to finish to take a convincing victory, as Red Bull’s Felipe Fraga scored his maiden podium in the series.

Having qualified on pole position for the first time in the DTM’s GT3 era, Team Rosberg’s Muller was virtually unchallenged in Sunday’s 33 lap contest in Portugal, beating Fraga to victory by over three seconds.

The Swiss driver made a clean start from pole and was already a second up the road by lap 3, as Fraga moved past the Grasser Racing Lamborghini of Mirko Bortolotti to grab second.

Fraga was the first frontrunner to head to the pitlane, switching to a fresh set of tyres as soon as the pit window opened at the end of lap 6.

Muller dived into the pits a lap later to cover the Brazilian racer and duly rejoined the track with an increased lead of two seconds, with Bortolotti remaining behind the duo in third after his own pitstop on lap 8.

Fraga tried to put the pressure on Muller with the fastest lap of the race on the next tour, but the Team Rosberg driver was never really threatened as he cruised to a comfortable win with an extended margin of 3.4s after 33 laps of racing.

It marked Muller’s first win in the DTM since the 2020 season finale at Hockenheim, as well as the first for Team Rosberg since it propelled Rene Rast to a third title the same year as a full-factory squad.

Bortolotti couldn’t challenge either Muller or Fraga with 5kg of ballast on his Lamborghini, having previously led much of Saturday’s race until a technical issue struck him at the restart, but the third-place finish means he leaves Portimao as the championship leader.

Walkenhorst BMW driver Marco Wittmann rebounded from a DNF on Saturday to finish fourth in the second race of the weekend, passing the Winward Mercedes of Maximilian Gotz into Turn 1 at the start of lap 16.

Gotz had risen from 10th to fifth on the opening lap and gained a further position over the struggling Lucas Auer after his pitstop, but couldn’t continue his charge in the second half of the race, ending up fifth ahead of the top Abt Audi of Kelvin van der Linde

Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor secured a solid haul of points for SSR Performance in seventh, four seconds clear of the Schubert BMW of Sheldon van der Linde.

Completing the top 10 were Abt Audi driver Ricardo Feller and GruppeM Mercedes’ Maro Engel.

Rast’s search for first points on his DTM return continued as he struggled to 12th place in the third of the three Abt Audis, having retired from Saturday’s opening race due to contact at the restart.

WRC legend Sebastien Loeb rounded off his maiden weekend in the DTM in 18th after pitting as late as lap 22 of 33, gaining one place towards the end on fresh tyres.

Saturday race winner Auer was running in a net fifth position early in the race, but dropped down the order on the lap after his mandatory stop. He was forced to peel back into the pits shortly afterwards, suggesting his tyres may not have been fitted properly the first time. The Austrian driver managed to stay on the lead lap but crossed the line second-to-last in 22nd place.

Portimao DTM - Sunday race results:

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Laps   Time   Delay/Retirement 
1 51  Nico Müller Audi 33 -  
2 74  Felipe Fraga Ferrari 33   3.415
3 63  Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini 33   8.447
4 11  Marco Wittmann BMW 33   10.283
5 Maximilian Götz Mercedes 33   12.734
6 K.van der Linde Audi 33   13.553
7 92  Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 33   14.349
8 31  S.van der Linde BMW 33   18.002
9 Ricardo Feller Audi 33   19.754
10 88  Maro Engel Mercedes 33   21.579
11 94  Dennis Olsen Porsche 33   22.410
12 33  René Rast Audi 33   22.966
13 36  Arjun Maini Mercedes 33   23.621
14 10  Esteban Muth BMW 33   27.854
15 27  David Schumacher Mercedes 33   28.165
16 66  Marius Zug Audi 33   34.885
17 18  Maximilian Buhk Mercedes 33   36.943
18 37  Sébastien Loeb Ferrari 33   47.817
19 85  Clemens Schmid Lamborghini 33   50.025
20 12  Dev Gore Audi 33   1'00.836
21 26  Esmee Hawkey Lamborghini 33   1'08.140
22 22  Lucas Auer Mercedes 33   1'11.368
23 Alessio Deledda Lamborghini 33   1'28.589
  55  Mikaël Grenier Mercedes 23 - Retirement
  Luca Stolz Mercedes 2 - Retirement
  95  Nicki Thiim Lamborghini 1 - Retirement
  24  Thomas Preining Porsche 1 - Retirement
  25  Philipp Eng BMW 0 - Retirement
  19  Rolf Ineichen Lamborghini 0 - Retirement

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