Rast Extends DTM Points Lead as Audis Dominate at Brands Hatch
Rene Rast increased his championship lead with pole and victory in Sunday’s second DTM race at Brands Hatch in a weekend dominated by Audi.
Rast now has 206 points to put him 37 clear of Nico Mueller, while Marco Wittmann, who did win Race 1 for BMW, is a further 22 points back.
Audi had a perfect performance in Sunday qualifying, with its six factory cars locking out the first three rows and the pair of WRT customer entries placing seventh and eighth.
It was able to convert this into a 1-2-3-4 sweep at the line, with Rast finishing 0.240 seconds clear of Mueller, and Robin Frijns and Loic Duval completing the top four.
Philipp Eng was the best placed BMW driver in fifth, while Wittmann could only manage tenth despite his win the day before.
Saturday’s victory came after holding off the same group of Audi drivers that locked out the top four on Sunday, with Wittmann crossing the line 0.374 seconds clear of Rast.
R-Motorsport showed improved pace in Race 1 with Paul Di Resta, who won one of the Brands Hatch races last year, taking the lead from fourth on the grid.
He held the position for a while but was given a controversial five-second penalty for what the stewards deemed to be a jump start.
Grasser, Land Share GT Masters Wins at Zandvoort
Orange 1 by Grasser and Montaplast by Land Motorsport each claimed a victory in the ADAC GT Masters’ visit to Zandvoort, both with drivers scoring their first win of the season.
Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart took their Grasser Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to victory on Saturday, leading a double podium for the Austrian team with one of its other cars, driven by Marco Mapelli and Michele Beretta, finishing third.
Bortolotti started from pole and the pair remained out front for the whole race despite their lead being cut by two safety car periods.
Engelhart defended from Klaus Bachler in the closing stages, taking the checkered flag 0.3 seconds clear of Bachler’s KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R.
It not only marked Bortolotti and Engelhart’s first win of the year but also the Huracan GT3 Evo’s first ADAC GT Masters triumph.
Dries Vanthoor and Ricardo Feller took top honors in Sunday’s race, meanwhile, leading a 1-2 finish for Land Motorsport.
Christopher Mies, in the other Land Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, held the lead until the mid-race pit stops but co-driver Max Hofer dropped back to third behind Feller and Fabian Vettel, whose teammates had pitted two laps later.
Hofer made his way past Vettel’s Mann-Filter Team HTP Mercedes-AMG GT3 to secure second for himself and Mies, eventually finishing 2.4 seconds behind the sister Land car.
Vettel and Philip Ellis placed third in the HTP Mercedes, meanwhile.
News & Notes
***Adam Christodoulou and Eric Zang won Saturday’s first China GT race at Qinhuangdao, driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 entered by Toro Racing, while Joe Osborne and Han Han claimed Race 2 honors in Winning Team’s new McLaren 720S GT3.
The new Qinhuangdao circuit, named Shougang Motorsport Valley, is located in Hebei province around three hours of east of Beijing. It was opened in November and is built on the site of a former steel factory.
***A Norma M20 FC driven by Bert and Steines Longin, Christoff Corten and Giorgio Maggi took victory in the weekend’s 24 Hours of Zolder. The Krafft Racing crew finished six laps clear after leading a total of 401 of 769 laps.
Second place went to the highest-placed GT car, a Porsche 991 which had Marc Goossens and Lars Kern amongst its lineup, while another Norma finished third with reigning Nürburgring 24 winner Fred Vervisch one of its drivers. Click here for full results.