Author Topic: Next DTM podium success for Maro Engel and Mercedes-AMG at the Lausitzring  (Read 337 times)

Offline fasteddy

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6979
    • www.flyingtiger.ca  http://shop.flyingtiger.ca
Klettwitz. The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams scored seven points finishes and one podium success on the second DTM race weekend of 2024 at the 3.478-kilometre DEKRA Lausitzring. All four Mercedes-AMG GT3s finished in the Top 10 on Saturday. Maro Engel (GER) and Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD made up the most positions this weekend. In Saturday's race, Engel made up a total of eleven places and claimed second place. On Sunday, the 38-year-old started from the back of the field in the #130 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and took P7.

Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD makes the right strategy decisions in chaotic rain race
Characterised by heavy rainfall and the resulting tyre poker, Saturday's race will be particularly memorable. When it started to rain five minutes after the start, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD and at this time 19th-placed Maro Engel were among the quickest to react. The early change to wet tyres brought the Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador up to second position in his 95th DTM race, before the race had to be interrupted twice due to the high risk of aquaplaning. Maro Engel maintained this position even after the two safety car restarts and the mandatory pit stop. His team-mate Lucas Auer (AUT), who was in poor health, started the race from eighth position and also benefited from the right strategy decision and a quick pit stop. He saw the chequered flag in fourth place. With the two Mercedes-AMG Team HRT drivers Arjun Maini (IND) in seventh and Luca Stolz (GER) in tenth, all four Mercedes-AMG GT3s finished in the top ten despite the challenging conditions. Arjun Maini, who had started the race from P5 in the grid, lost places during a less than optimal stop. Luca Stolz was handed a penalty lap for spinning tyres. Thanks to his second podium of the season, Maro Engel climbed to shared first place in the drivers' standings for one night together with Kelvin van der Linde (RSA/Team ABT Sportsline) with 43 championship points.

A late stop puts #130 Mercedes-AMG GT3 well ahead again in Sunday's race
In dry conditions on Sunday, the Lausitzring yet again proved to be a track that offers few overtaking opportunities. Once again, Maro Engel, who started the race from 20th place due to last-minute changes to the car, benefited from the right timing at the stop. He was one of the last to head for the pits in the #130 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and moved up to eighth position, which he successfully defended despite cold tyres. He subsequently worked his way up to seventh place. Lucas Auer finished tenth in the #22 Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER car, while Arjun Maini ended Sunday's race in twelfth place. The three drivers thus continued their streak and finished in the points for the fourth race in a row. Luca Stolz had to retire the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 early due to a collision that was not his fault.

In the overall standings, Mercedes-AMG remains within striking distance of the leaders after the second of eight race weekends. Maro Engel is in fourth place in the drivers' championship with 52 points. Mercedes-AMG Team HRT is third in the team standings with 73 points. In the manufacturers' competition, Mercedes-AMG is eight points behind in second place.

The protagonists do not have much time to recover after the eventful races. All four DTM drivers will be competing for Mercedes-AMG in the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring next weekend. The following week, on 8th and 9th June, the fifth and sixth rounds of the DTM season will take place at Circuit Zandvoort. Last year, Maro Engel took his first DTM victory in the GT3 era on the Dutch dune circuit, clinching pole position and setting the fastest lap of the race.