Auer driving a Mercedes 1-2; Bortolotte slow restart

Factory Lamborghini driver Bortolotti led the first part of the race with ease from pole position, putting several seconds between himself and the chase group led by Winward Mercedes of Auer.

But the race was turned upside down on lap 19 when fellow Bortolotti Grasser Racing teammate Rolf Ineichen stopped on the track at Turn 1 shortly after he stopped, and pulled out the safety car.

After a short intervention period, Bortolotti’s Lamborghini was slow to accelerate when the red lights went out and slid back into the standings, allowing Auer to pass and take the lead.

From there, the Austrian was untouchable in front, taking his eighth DTM victory by just over a second.

HRT Mercedes driver Luca Stolz made quick gains after an early lap 8 stop, finishing second strong in his first DTM race as a full timer.

Bortolotti recovered from the failed safety car restart to finish last on the podium, and overtaking Maro Engel’s GruppeM Mercedes put Maro Engel back into Turn 1 on the last lap of the race.

Engel was later hit with a five-second penalty for a stop-break, and dropped to 10th in the final standings.

This title contender Kelvin van der Linde moved up last year to fourth in the Abt Sportsline Audi, South Africa which is recovering from a poor qualifying that left him 17th on the grid in a field of 29 cars.

Porsche’s drivers also showed an improvement in racing pace after struggling for speed in qualifying, with Dennis Olsen finishing fifth on the SSR Performance Team in the Stuttgart-based brand’s debut in the DTM, three places ahead of teammate Laurens Vanthoor.

Ricardo Feller, Abt Audi driver, was one of the few drivers to stop at the first opportunity on lap six, allowing the GT Masters champ to take sixth on his DTM debut.

Schubert Motorsport’s Sheldon van der Linde drove the new BMW M4 to a solid seventh, ahead of the Vanthoor, while teammate Philip Eng jumped from 24th on the grid to take ninth in the DTM comeback.

Last place in points push went to Engel after a five-second penalty, while defending champion Maximilian Gotze (Wynward Mercedes) was only able to finish 11th early in his title defense.

Factory Aston Martin (T1 Motorsport Lamborghini) driver Nicky Thiem ran inside the top five for most of the race, but got stuck in the scrimmage at the start of the second half, dropping to a disappointing 12th in the final standings.

The chaos at the start of the second half also affected Red Bull player Felipe Fraga and three-time champion Rene Rast (Abt Audi), both of whom withdrew from the race on the spot with their cars damaged. Fraga was running seventh and was hoping to take advantage of the newer tyres, having made a mandatory stop before a lap of the safety car.

Nico Muller (Team Rosberg) and Marco Wittmann (Wakenhurst BMW) were other notable retirees from the race, both of whom were heading to their garage early on due to unrelated issues.

In his first DTM debut as a replacement for Nick Cassidy, nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb ranked 16th in his AlphaTauri-sponsored Ferrari.

He finished the season less than a second behind first-tier player Thomas Grenier, who was third behind Bortolotti and Auer before the start of the second half only to top up points later.

Portimao DTM – Results of the first race:

POS no Driver car/engine the difference
1 22 Lucas Auer mercedes
2 4 Luca Stolz mercedes 0.851
3 63 Mirco Bortolotti Lamborghini 1.811
4 3 Kvan der Linde Audi 3.053
5 94 Dennis Olsen Porsche 3.406
6 7 Ricardo Feller Audi 4.405
7 31 S.van der Linde BMW 4.768
8 92 Laurens Fanthur Porsche 5.365
9 25 Philip M BMW 7.399
10 88 Maru English mercedes 7.468
11 1 Maximilian Gotze mercedes 8.534
12 95 Nikki Theme Lamborghini 9.141
13 24 Thomas Brenning Porsche 12.480
14 10 Esteban Moth BMW 13.303
15th 55 Michael Grenier mercedes 13.752
16 37 Sebastian Loeb Ferrari 14,285
17 36 Arjun Main mercedes 14.975
18 66 Marius Zug Audi 16,060
19 18 Maximilian Boehck mercedes 16,701
20 27 David Schumacher mercedes 17,264
21 85 Clemens Schmid Lamborghini 18.031
22 6 Alessio Deleda Lamborghini 25,942
26 My name is Hawk Lamborghini the retirement
33 Rene Rast Audi the retirement
74 Felipe Fraga Ferrari the retirement
19 Rolf’s Inspiration Lamborghini the retirement
11 Marco Whitman BMW the retirement
12 Dave Gor Audi the retirement
51 Nico Muller Audi the retirement