Regardless of Lawson operating exterior the highest 10 after being hit by Kelvin van der Linde firstly, his buffer within the championship standings’ was sufficient to clinch the title by seven factors because the race reached its remaining levels.
However with lower than a handful of laps to run, Mercedes requested each long-time race chief Lucas Auer and Philip Ellis to let Gotz by means of and take the win, with the 2 further locations he gained serving to the German to sensationally snatch the title by three factors from Lawson.
Story of the race
In a repeat of Saturday’s opening encounter, van der Linde tried to dive previous polesitter Lawson beneath braking for Flip 2 – this time by taking the within line into the hairpin.
However the two drivers got here to blows on the apex, with van der Linde operating deep into the nook and leaving each Lawson and Nick Cassidy large off the observe.
The AF Corse duo needed to watch for the remainder of the sector to cross by earlier than they might reverse their automobiles, dropping to the rear of the pack and and not using a likelihood to mount a fightback
To make issues worse, the Kiwi reported a damaged steering that pressured him to make a number of unscheduled pitstops, earlier than rejoining the observe with a automobile that was lapping 20 seconds off the outright tempo.
With Lawson out of the operating and van der Linde dropping time within the incident, Auer seized the lead from fourth on the grid and Ellis transferring as much as second to determine a Winward Mercedes 1-2.
Heading into the ultimate laps of the race, Auer sat a cushty six-second away from Ellis, with Gotz operating a way behind the duo in third.
However in a outstanding late twist, each Auer and Ellis slowed right down to let Gotz by means of, with the German driver taking the lead on lap 64 of 67 to clinch the title.
The outcomes means Mercedes has gained each the drivers’ and the producers’ championship on its return to the DTM, with solely the Crimson Bull / AF Corse workforce denying it a clear sweep of titles.
Auer was ultimately categorized second, having relinquished what might have been a 3rd victory in as many rounds, with a five-second penalty for a pitstop infringement and a collision with Cassidy leaving Ellis in tenth – and selling Mucke Mercedes’ Maximilian Buhk to the ultimate spot on the rostrum.
Abt Sportsline’s Mike Rockenfeller was categorized fourth in his final DTM look as an Audi driver, forward of GruppeM’s Daniel Juncadella and GetSpeed’s Arjun Maini, whereas Walkenhorst driver Marco Wittmann was categorized seventh within the farewell DTM outing for the BMW M6.
The highest 10 was rounded out by HRT’s Vincent Abril, the Abt Audi of Sophia Floersch and Ellis.
Van der Linde slipped exterior of the factors and completed down in seventeenth after choosing up a late puncture, doubtless after contact with Gotz whereas battling for third place.
Gotz was attempting to benefit from van der Linde’s chilly tyres, however the Audi driver minimize throughout the observe popping out of Flip 7 – resulting in the 2 drivers making contact.
A heartbroken Lawson limped dwelling 24 laps down in 18th, with the injury he picked up firstly leaving him 20s slower than the leaders.