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Engstler Holds off Engel to Take Maiden Win

Luca Engstler fends off Maro Engel to win incident-filled Race 2 at Oschersleben…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Luca Engstler claimed his first DTM victory after holding off Maro Engel to win the Sunday race at Oschersleben.

Engstler’s No. 19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 crossed the line 0.300 seconds ahead of the No. 130 Mercedes-AMG Team Winward Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo after both drivers jumped to the lead thanks to a well-timed pitstop under Full Course Yellow.

After running third and seventh in the early stages, both drivers extended their opening stints long enough to take advantage when Rene Rast and Thierry Vermeulen came to blows exiting Turn 2.

Contact between the two sent the No. 69 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 spinning into the barriers, resulting in a double retirement for the Swiss squad after Jack Aitken was eliminated in a multi-car collision on the opening lap.

Engstler and Engel pitted moments before the FCY was called, allowing them to leapfrog to the head of the field when racing resumed.

The No. 19 Lamborghini then withstood pressure from the more experienced Engel for nearly half an hour to deliver GRT Grasser Racing Team’s first DTM win since Race 2 at the Nürburgring last year.

Luca Stolz finished third ahead of Haupt Racing Team stablemate Arjun Maini, while Mirko Bortolotti failed to convert pole position to a podium finish after a botched pitstop.

The Italian fell victim to an issue with the left rear wheel in a race that saw multiple Lamborghinis struggle with pitstop problems that even resulted in retirement for both Nicki Thiim and Paul Motorsport’s Maximilian Paul.

Kelvin van der Linde finished fifth for ABT Sportsline after his teammate Ricardo Feller slowed with mechanical problems approaching the finish line and dropped from fifth to ninth.

An ABT spokesperson explained that an electronics problem caused the engine on the No. 7 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II to shut off approaching the finish line.

The No. 31 Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Sheldon Van der Linde recovered from the opening lap incident to finish sixth, ahead of Rene Rast, Christian Engelhart and Feller.

Marco Wittmann completed the top ten, with Lucas Auer coming home in eleventh in a heavily damaged No. 22 Mercedes-AMG after he collided with Aitken on the first lap.

RESULTS: Race 2

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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