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Preining Beats ABT Audis in Lausitzring Race 2

Thomas Preining beats Kelvin van der Linde, Ricardo Feller in Lausitzring Race 2…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Reigning DTM champion Thomas Preining fended off a challenge from the ABT Sportsline duo of Kelvin van der Linde and Ricardo Feller to secure his first victory of the season during Race 2 at the Lausitzring.

The Austrian driver, piloting the No. 91 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R, finished ahead of points leader Van der Linde to win the 60-minute contest on Sunday, with Feller completing the podium in third place.

Despite starting from pole position, Preining entered the mandatory pitstop window behind Feller.

This came after the Swiss driver maneouvred his No. 7 Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II past Preining out of Turn 1 in the opening minutes of the contest.

Preining subsequently pitted first with Feller changing tires one lap later, after which the No. 91 Porsche was able to move back ahead with a move at Turn 8.

However, both drivers were then leapfrogged by Van der Linde as well as the No. 92 SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 of Mirko Bortolotti, who had entered the pitstop window running third and fourth.

While Bortolotti dropped back behind Preining and Feller on cold tires on his out lap, Van der Linde initially appeared to be able to hold on to the lead of the race.

However, the South African’s bid for a weekend sweep was put on the back burner when Preining overtook him at Turn 7 to gain first place.

Van der Linde then also lost second to teammate Feller when the two made contact at Turn 8, forcing the No. 3 Audi to run wide.

Race control subsequently ordered the two drivers to change positions, which only happened after a safety car restart when Luca Stolz and Maximilian Paul became stranded in the Turn 7 gravel after colliding.

While Van der Linde put some pressure on Preining in the closing minutes, he was unable to prevent the Porsche driver from taking his first race win since his title-deciding weekend sweep at last year’s Hockenheim finale.

Bortolotti finished fourth, with Luca Engstler a strong fifth in the No. 19 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini.

The Oschersleben race winner secured his best finish of the weekend by fighting his way past the No. 33 Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Rene Rast with 11 minutes to go.

Rast, who had made his way up from 13th on the grid, initially attempted to challenge Bortolotti for fourth out of Turn 13, but the resulting loss in momentum allowed Engstler to pass the three-time series champion into Turn 1.

The battle resulted in Sheldon van der Linde running wide and losing a position to the No. 130 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Maro Engel as a result.

Engel held off the No. 31 Schubert Motorsport BMW to finish seventh behind Rast, having completed a solid recovery drive after starting the race from last place after being disqualified from qualifying for a parc ferme infringement.

Van der Linde and Marco Wittmann finished eighth and ninth, with Lucas Auer rounding out the top ten in the No. 22 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG.


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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