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Aitken Converts Pole to Zandvoort Race 1 Win

Jack Aitken takes dominant Zandvoort win; Rene Rast charges from seventh to second…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Jack Aitken took his second DTM victory of the season with a lights-to-flag display during Race 1 at Zandvoort.

The No. 14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 crossed the line 2.924 seconds ahead of the No. 33 Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Rene Rast.

While Rast put in a strong drive from seventh on the grid to record his first podium of the season, he was unable to prevent Aitken from converting pole to a dominant win.

The German moved up to fourth position by the opening of the pitstop window by passing Schubert stablemate Sheldon van der Linde as well as Lucas Auer and Ricardo Feller.

Rast and the No. 36 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Arjun Maini leapfrogged the No. 85 Doerr Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 Evo driven by Clemens Schmid during the stops.

The three-time series champion was able to gain one additional position by overtaking Maini, with the Indian driver completing the podium in third place.

Schmid finished fourth ahead of the No. 22 Mercedes-AMG Team Winward machine of Lucas Auer and Van der Linde’s No. 31 Schubert BMW.

Marco Wittmann, having started 17th, charged up to seventh overall with a convincing drive that featured three overtakes in quick succession in the final 20 minutes.

The No. 11 BMW made its way past both SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2s as well as the No. 7 ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Ricardo Feller.

Feller crossed the line in eighth ahead of Mirko Bortolotti, with Luca Stolz completing the top ten ahead of Maro Engel and Nicki Thiim.

The Dane lost multiple positions late in the race after he slid wide and through the gravel at Turn 13, eventually finishing in twelfth position.

Championship rivals Kelvin van der Linde and Thomas Preining came home in 13th and 14th, with Thierry Vermeulen taking the final championship point on home soil in 15th.

Sunday’s Race 2 at Zandvoort takes place three hours later than normal and kicks off at 4:30 p.m. CEST in order for several drivers to be able to attend the 24 Hours of Le Mans test day.

RESULTS: Race 1

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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