Sheldon van der Linde in the #31 ROWE Racing M6 GT3 finished fourth and Marco Wittmann in the #11 Walkenhorst M6 GT3 finished fifth in the second race at Monza on the opening weekend of the new GT3-based DTM season. The race two win went to van der Linde’s brother Kelvin in the #3 Audi R8 LMS Evo. Nico Muller was second in another Audi. Timo Glock in the second ROWE M6 GT3 was classified eighteenth.
The M6 GT3s’ race two performance was a substantial improvement over their showing in race one, in which Wittmann was the best BMW finisher in ninth. The race one win went to Liam Lawson in an AF Corse Ferrari. New Zealander Lawson, nineteen, became the youngest-ever DTM winner. Mercedes-AMG racers Vincent Abril and Maximilian Götz finished second and third. Sheldon van der Linde finished twelfth and Glock was seventeenth. Autosport notes that Ferrari’s win was “the first for any non-German manufacturer in the DTM since Nicola Larini’s victory for Alfa Romeo in the 1996 International Touring Car Championship race for DTM cars at Sao Paolo.”
While the main DTM races are scheduled for 60 minutes, the Monza races were run for fifty minutes as teams were concerned about running out of fuel on the high speed circuit.
The BMW M4 GT4 was a strong performer in the supporting DTM Trophy Series; Ben Green in an FK Performance Motorsport M4 GT4 won race one, and Michael Schrey in a Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport M4 GT4 won race two after Tim Heineman in an Aston Martin, who finished first on the track, was penalized two seconds and dropped to third because he had gone off in a chicane and had gained an advantage when he returned to the circuit.
DTM runs next on July 23–25 at the Lausitzring.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]