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Thursday, May 23, 2024

How Bortolotti helped Lamborghini win at Nurburgring DTM after his DNS

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SSR Performance driver Bortolotti was unable to take the beginning within the second race of the weekend after the technical problem that first appeared in qualifying could not be mounted in time for the formation lap.

However having dominated Saturday’s opening contest to attain his first DTM win, the Italian driver was nicely versed with the circumstances on the Nurburgring, and he put his information to good use to assist Lamborghini declare a double win on the house turf of its German rivals.

Standing within the storage of Grasser Racing, the outfit with which he competed within the DTM final season, Bortolotti suggested the crew to extend the tyre strain on the subsequent pitstop in anticipation of extra rain.

“Mirko was standing subsequent to me and mentioned: ‘Boss, we now have to drive at excessive strain’,” Grasser boss Gottfried Grasser instructed Autosport sister web site Motorsport-Complete.com. “I mentioned: ‘Reasonably not’.

“He was then like ‘Boss, we’ll try this, excessive strain works,’ I then put excessive strain on his advice.”

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The decision proved to be a masterstroke as Paul, who had been no match to race chief Lucas Auer within the first stint, was immediately the quickest driver within the discipline after the pitstop part.

Competing in solely his first race weekend after being drafted in as a last-minute substitute for Mick Wishofer, Paul quickly closed in on the Winward Mercedes of Auer with a contemporary set of moist Pirellis and eventually accomplished a transfer on the hairpin after duelling for a number of laps.

Podium: Race winner Mirko Bortolotti, SSR Efficiency

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

As soon as in clear air, Paul was capable of draw back from the chasing pack, changing into the eighth totally different driver to win a race this season.

It additionally made Grasser a race-winning crew within the DTM, the outfit having come near the outcome quite a few events final yr – mockingly with Bortolotti – however at all times falling in need of making a breakthrough.

The Winward Mercedes crew went in the other way on tyre pressures to Grasser and that led to Auer dropping to 3rd on the end behind Porsche’s Laurinch Heinrich, confirming Bortolotti’s hunch was right.

Winward crew boss Christian Hohenadel instructed Motorsport-Complete.com: “We had been too low with the air strain. As well as, we would have liked a while with the Mercedes to convey the tyres to the proper temperature.”

The Grasser crew was additionally spot on with tyre pressures at the start of the race, when solely a small a part of the monitor was moist.

This enabled Paul to leap from thirteenth on the grid to seventh within the first two laps, and transfer as much as second after rain hit the monitor and turned the race right into a contest of who can greatest handle their tyres in full moist circumstances.

“We began with a tyre strain that was really not regular, it was that low,” Gottfried Grasser mentioned. “We knew: the rain tyre is at its restrict. If you happen to use it, you need to drive with low strain so you’ll be able to survive it till the cease.

Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Mercedes-AMG GT3, Maximilian Paul, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Crew WINWARD Mercedes-AMG GT3, Maximilian Paul, Grasser Racing Crew Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

“We thought we had been completely improper as a result of there was much more water than anticipated. You normally cannot do something there with low strain, nevertheless it labored.

“The remainder was Max – along with his unbelievable talent. Even with skilled drivers, you generally see a sector off in these circumstances. However with him, every part match completely.”

Each Auer and Paul pitted on the identical time below a FCY, with Auer working a number of seconds forward at this stage, however the Grasser driver was capable of chase him down and take an unlikely win.

“After I was capable of catch as much as Lucas after the cease, I believed for the primary time that I may win,” mentioned Paul. “He was very reasonable and did not push me away like different drivers do. I actually loved it.”

Paul was added to the Grasser line-up on a one-off foundation on the Nurburgring and it stays unclear who will occupy the seat subsequent to Clemens Schmid, though Wishofer may make a return for the remaining 4 rounds.

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