With Abt Sportsline’s Kelvin van der Linde ending a disappointing fourth after an opportunistic lunge at the beginning backfired, Lawson will head to Sunday’s title decider with a major 18-point benefit over the South African.
Gotz’s second victory of the season retains him nicely within the title hunt, only one level behind van der Linde within the championship standings and 19 adrift of championship chief Lawson.
Firstly of the race, van der Linde tried to move polesitter Lawson into the primary braking zone at Flip 2 however ran too deep into the nook, leaving him huge on the exit and permitting plenty of vehicles to come back by means of.
As van der Linde dropped from second to seventh after brushing the boundaries on the skin, Lawson got here underneath stress from the Winward Mercedes of Philip Ellis, who had taken a slim line into Flip 2 after ranging from fifth on the grid.
Lawson and Ellis ran side-by-side on the run right down to Flip 4, with the AF Corse driver powerless to defend the lead with 18kg of ballast on his Ferrari.
Over the subsequent few laps, Gotz was on a cost within the HRT Mercedes, dispatching a fast-starting Nick Cassidy at Flip 7 earlier than making the identical transfer on Cassidy’s team-mate Lawson on lap 7 of 67.
In a brief span of time Gotz had closed in on race chief Ellis and on lap 10 he pulled off the identical overtake into the ultimate hairpin, transferring to the entrance of the pack for the primary time within the race.
Inside two laps, Gotz had pulled out a lead of over a second and he continued his benefit up entrance, returning to the observe with a seven second hole after his pitstop on lap 23.
Regardless of the HRT crew instructing him to decelerate his tempo within the second half of the race, Gotz nonetheless took the chequered flag by the very best a part of 10 seconds, scoring a primary win within the DTM because the Lausitzring spherical in July.
Liam Lawson, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo
Photograph by: Alexander Trienitz
Whereas Gotz’s place was by no means threatened as soon as he moved into the lead of the race, the struggle for second place went right down to the wire between the GetSpeed Mercedes of Arjun Maini and championship chief Lawson.
Maini had slipped from fourth to sixth at the beginning however a speedy in-lap – 1.3s second faster than Lawson’s – and an equally fast pitstop introduced him again on observe in second place.
The Indian driver managed to construct a small buffer up entrance after finishing his pitstop, however Lawson managed to eat into its benefit within the last phases of the season.
Maini in the end managed to carry on to second to say a maiden podium within the DTM, with Lawson settling in third place within the lead AF Corse Ferrari.
Nevertheless, with championship rival van der Linde ending proper behind him in fourth, Lawson stays the favorite for the title with simply Sunday’s race to run.
Van der Linde was at all times going to face an uphill battle to complete on the rostrum after slipping to seventh on the flag and was solely capable of regain one place within the first stint – when Lucas Auer ran huge at Flip 2.
A fast pitstop sequence allowed him to return to the observe in a web fourth place, however he could not move Lawson on observe regardless of the Crimson Bull driver carrying the additional weight in his automotive.
Fifth place within the race went to the opposite AF Corse Ferrari of Cassidy, whose sensible getaway laid the muse of a robust lead to his maiden look of the season.
The Kiwi did not full his pitstop till the ultimate two minutes of the race and emerged proper in entrance of rival van der Linde, however could not hold the Audi driver behind – the 2 drivers banging wheels at Flip 7.
Auer completed sixth for the Winward crew forward of GruppeM Mercedes’ Daniel Juncadella, whereas Workforce Rosberg Audi’s Nico Muller scored solely his second factors end in 4 rounds with eighth.
Mucke Mercedes’s Maximilian Buhk and Ellis rounded out the factors scorers in ninth and tenth respectively.
After shedding the result in Gotz on lap 10, Ellis was tagged by Lawson as they went into the Flip 5 left-hander, with the contact pitching him right into a half spin and leaving him tumbling down the order.
Esteban Muth was T3 Lamborghini’s prime finisher in eleventh, whereas two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann failed to attain some extent for the third race in succession after ending twelfth. The Walkenhorst driver, who certified on the again row, is now out of the title struggle.
Elsewhere, wildcard entrant Lucas di Grassi completed fifteenth within the fourth Abt Sportsline Audi.
DTM Norisring – Race 1 Outcomes – 67 laps