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Dennis Olsen #90 of Manthey EMA leaving pit lane with his Porsche 911 GT3 R.


Double podium for Porsche.

Porsche remains in the lead of the manufacturer championship.

Though conditions for the drivers of the DTM in the German Eifel region: Rain increased the difficulty of the race on the already challenging Nürburgring. Not only Green Hell – but wet hell. All the more impressive was the performance of DTM newcomer Laurin Heinrich, who managed to reach the podium for the first time on Sunday. No less impressive: Thomas Preining's ranking on first spot of the driver championship and Manthey EMA's lead in the team championship. With that, Porsche maintains the lead in all three championships.

Though it was dry during the start on Saturday and comparatively warm at 18° C, dropping temperatures and an influx of rain was not exactly expected in what should be summer in the Eifel region. And the weather would not get better throughout the race weekend. Quite the opposite, in fact.


It was a challenge – not only for championship lead Thomas Preining (Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91), who had collected 90 points up to this race. Already around the third minute, he came under heavy pressure from Ricardo Feller #7, but did not give him a chance to pass. Dennis Olsen also had a tough time in the packed starting grid and directly fell behind onto ninth position, but managed to regain his balance shortly afterwards – though not without pressure.


Ayhancan Güven and Christian Engelhart suffered a heavy stroke of bad luck: the race ended for them after a collision in minute 27. Engelhart had skidded into Güven's rear after braking ahead of the first curve, and both cars landed in the gravel pit with damaged rears. As a result, a full course yellow phase was announced around minute 28. The crash resulted in the elimination of both vehicles for the race on Sunday – the damage was too great. Luckily, it was only car body damage: Güven and Engelhart remained uninjured.


And the rain increased – multiple teams crowded into pit lane to switch to rain tires. The right strategy? Definitely a first taste of the race on the following day.

The Porsche 911 GT3 R of Ayhancan Güven #24 in front of dark rain clouds on the Nürburgring.

After this race opening under varying conditions, the Porsche Teams still achieved successful point winnings: Thomas Preining (Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91) crossed the finish line as third and increased his score lead by 18 points. Dennis Olsen (Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #90) fought his way to the front from the seventh starting position and finished the race on fifth. Tim Heinemann (Toksport WRT, Porsche 911 GT3 R #9) also achieved success by finishing on 14th spot and winning his first points since the beginning of the season.

The race on Saturday did not quite go as planned for Laurin Heinrich (Team75 Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R #75): The Full Course Yellow phase cost him precious time during the pitstop phase – and with that a good result. The Porsche junior driver only achieved 19th position, so no points for the championship. But this was only day one of two. In the end, an overjoyed youngster would reach the podium.

The results of the first DTM race on the Nürburgring:

1. Mirko Bortolotti (I), Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO 2 #92, 39 laps

2. Lucas Auer (A), Mercedes-AMG GT3 #22, +1,199 seconds

3. Thomas Preining (A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, +2,572 seconds

5. Dennis Olsen (N), Porsche 911 GT3 R #90, +4,327 seconds

14. Tim Heinemann (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, +17,531 seconds

19. Laurin Heinrich (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #75, +20,504 seconds

DNF Ayhancan Güven (TR), Porsche 911 GT3 R #24, +21 laps

DNF Christian Engelhart (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #99, +21 laps

Rainy battle throughout the race.

The second race on Sunday started out with little promise for Porsche. The third-placed Praining of the previous day would start after a disadvantageous qualifying from a disheartening 16th spot. And Dennis Olsen, fifth of the previous day, collided with Kelvin van der Linde during the start: end of race after the sixth minute.


Adding to that: the weather. Though the teams could collect some experience during the bursts of rain on Saturday, it was unclear during the start on Sunday if slicks or rain tires were the answer to a question, that did get its answer throughout the course of the race.

Thomas Preining #91 on a wet track ahead of other vehicles.

Even though the slicks slowly reached ideal temperature, rain plagued the track between dry sections. The race had barely gone 15 minutes when the lap times of the drivers on slicks increased by the minute. Tim Heinemann (Toksport WRT, Porsche 911 GT3 R #9) put David Schumacher under pressure until he managed to pass after a long duel. By minute 17, both were still on slicks.


The time slot for the pits was opened at 20 minutes. At this point, the slicks were at a disadvantage. Rain and its spray reduced visibility and traction. And compared to the previous day, the cooler 12-13° C required a clear race strategy. And it was slowly revealed that the Porsche Teams had it.


For Heinemann, it continued to go well. At 28 minutes, he left the track shortly after Schumacher to get new tires. The Team Toksport WRT performed well and Heinemann managed to increase his advantage ahead of Schumacher. Though in the end, it would not be enough for both of them to reach the podium.


On the other hand, Laurin Heinrich (Team75 Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 #75) seized the moment. Ironically, it was a defining Full Course Yellow phase, caused by Alessio Deledda in minute 37, that shifted the race to Heinrich's advantage. "So, justice was done," noted the driver, who had finished 19th the previous day.

Laurin Heinrich #75 driving his Porsche 911 GT3 R into a right turn across the curbs ahead of another car.

I'm over the moon about my first podium result on just the fourth DTM race weekend of my career.

Laurin HeinrichTeam75 Motorsport

42 minutes after the start, he had worked his way onto third position. And continuously increased the pressure on Lucas Auer. He withstood it for a while – but Heinrich wanted more. Four minutes before the finish, he passed the Mercedes-AMG driver. And bagged the second spot in this thrilling race.


"Laurin implemented our strategy perfectly and definitely deserves this success," commented Team75 Motorsport owner and Porsche brand ambassador Timo Bernhard on Heinrich's success. "He drove a brilliant race today under very difficult conditions."


And even though it was not enough for Tim Heinemann to reach the podium, the 911 GT3 R project manager Sebastian Golz was clearly satisfied, "Tim Heinemann's performance, especially in the first half of Sunday's race, is worthy of praise. From Porsche's point of view, it was a very successful weekend here at the Nürburgring. We succeeded in extending our lead in all three championship classifications."


Heinemann himself also took it all with stride, "After two DTM weekends without a championship point, we finished in the points twice, which is a small success. Now, we have to keep it up so that we can race among the frontrunners again in the next races at the Lausitzring."


And one person has surely greater ambitions for the future: Laurin Heinrich with his first podium spot throughout his still young career.

Laurin Heinrich #75 holding the victor's trophy for his second spot in hands.

The results of the second race of the DTM on the Nürburgring:

1. Maximilian Paul (D), Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO 2 #19, 35 laps

2. Laurin Heinrich (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #75, +0.600 seconds

3. Lucas Auer (A), Mercedes-AMG GT3 #22, +1.320 seconds

5. Thomas Preining (A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, +3.248 seconds

12. Tim Heinemann (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, +10.327 seconds

DNF Dennis Olsen (N), Porsche 911 GT3 R #90, +33 laps