Goetz Wins Dramatic Finale to Seal DTM Title
With assistance from his fellow Mercedes-AMG drivers, Maximilian Goetz won the final round of the DTM season at the Noriring to clinch his maiden series championship.
The Haupt Racing Team driver won the opening bout of the weekend on Saturday before scoring another 25 points in Sunday’s decider to reach the top of the standings ahead of Liam Lawson and Kelvin van der Linde, who both encountered trouble in Race 2.
Lawson arrived as the favorite for the title after taking pole for the season-ending race.
However, the Red Bull AF Corse driver’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 sustained steering damage when a late-braking van der Linde made contact at the first hairpin turn.
Lucas Auer led the field and was soon joined at the front by his Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG teammate Philip Ellis, with a penalty-carrying van der Linde in third and Goetz in fourth.
Those net positions were held through the pit stop cycle, which included a long first stint from van der Linde, however Goetz quickly caught up with the South African’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo on lap 53 after its tire change.
The pair made contact a couple of times, which led to van der Linde’s Audi picking up a puncture that caused the Abt Sportsline driver to spin out of contention.
Goetz continued but his third position wasn’t enough to seize the title from Lawson, who had been circulating at a crawl in a bid to pick up any scraps of points.
However, the championship dramatically swung in Goetz’s favor when Auer and Ellis both eased off to allow the HRT driver through for the race victory that he required.
Phoenix Takes Long-Awaited NLS Win
Frank Stippler and Vincent Kolb delivered Phoenix Racing’s first NLS victory of the season and after five podium finishes at the season finale on Saturday.
The drivers of the No. 5 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo prevailed after post-race penalties were applied to the Falken Motorsports Porsche and the Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo which crossed the line in first and second respectively.
Falken drivers Martin Ragginger and Sven Mueller, as well as the Konrad pairing of Jordan Pepper and Axcil Jefferies, both received 35-second penalties for overtaking under yellow flags.
Mueller led the opening laps but Pepper made an overtake on the Porsche before the end of the first hour-long stint.
Jefferies then kept Ragginger at bay during the next leg, with Kolb and Kim Luis Schramm in two Phoenix Audis mounting pressure on the leading pair.
Konrad dropped back to fourth when it was dealt a stop-go for an early yellow flag infringement, but Pepper recovered to take second on the road behind Mueller.
However, the application of the final penalties meant that it was the third-placed Audi that won the final race of the season, and the NLS Speed Trophy title.
The No. 5 Phoenix secured the NLS championship after benefiting from an accident for its main rival, the BMW Junior Team M6 GT3, after contact with a backmarker.
Saturday’s dace was shortened by around 45 minutes due to early morning fog which caused a late start.
United Pair Clinches GT4 European Title
United Autosports’ Bailey Voisin and Charlie Fagg wrapped up the GT4 European Series Silver Cup title at the Barcelona season finale with a sixth-place finish in Race 1.
The drivers of the No. 23 McLaren 570S GT4 ended the campaign 32 points clear of their nearest rivals Antoine Potty and Stephane Lemeret.
Sainteloc Racing Audi drivers Fabian Michal and Gregory Guilvert won the opening 60-minute contest before Allied Racing’s Joel Sturm and Bastian Buus claimed Race 2 honors in a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Sturm and Buus were first on the road at the end of the opening race but lost their win to a 35-second time penalty applied after the checkered flag.
Louis Cabirou led the early stages of Race 1, only for his CMR Alpine A110 GT4 to peel off with a turbo problem at the end of a safety car period.
This handed the lead to Sturm, whose co-driver Buus fought past Roee Meyuhas in the other Sainteloc Audi shortly after the pit stops to remain in front.
Meyuhas ended up dropping to 24th after encountering a puncture while Buus passed the checkered flag less than half a second ahead of Guilvert’s Audi, which would end up inheriting the win post-race.
The second encounter saw Buus and Sturm make amends for their penalty to win by 20 seconds from AKKA-ASP’s Jim Pla and Jean-Luc Beaubelique.
The AKKA Mercedes-AMG GT4 drivers still took the Pro-Am win, but finished second in the standings behind Michal and Guilvert who won the title by a huge 82-point margin.
Other Racing and News
***Lorenzo Ferrari and Riccardo Agostini claimed the Italian GT Sprint Championship title at Mugello, where more than 40 cars took part. The Audi Sport Italia pair didn’t have the strongest weekend, finishing sixth and fifth in the two races, but nonetheless secured the top spot ahead of Alex Frassinetti who was joined at Imperiale Racing by Luca Ghiotto for the finale. Race 1 / Race 2 / Standings
***Ben Green won the second season of DTM Trophy by beating his nearest title rival Will Tregurtha in both races at the Norisring. Green in his FK Performance Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 finished second to Toyota Supra driver Nico Verdonck in the opening race, before winning the second contest by a narrow margin ahead of Tregurtha’s CV Performance Group Aston Martin. Race 1 / Race 2 and Standings
***Tolman Motorsport will run a newly-acquired Bentley Continental GT3 in this weekend’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship final round at Donington. Jordan Witt and Ian Stinton will drive for the team, which previously ran McLaren development drivers in GT4.
***2 Seas Motorsport has added a second International GT Open outing of the year after winning on its series debut at Monza. Martin Kodric and Ethan Simioni will again share the team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo at Barcelona.
On this weekend: Intercontinental GT Challenge, Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS and supports (Indianapolis), British GT (Donington Park).