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Thiim Takes Maiden Win in Norisring Race 2

Nicki Thiim follows in his father’s footsteps with DTM victory in Norisring Race 2…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Nicki Thiim secured his maiden DTM victory by overcoming a late-race safety car restart and beating Maro Engel and Mirko Bortolotti in Race 2 at the Norisring.

Thiim, piloting the No. 94 SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, started from pole position and converted that by finishing 0.777 seconds ahead of Engel’s No. 130 Mercedes-AMG Team Winward Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

That came despite a late-race safety car, triggered by debris left on track after contact between Marco Wittmann and Kelvin van der Linde, which wiped out Thiim’s lead.

However, he was able to keep Engel and SSR Performance stablemate Bortolotti at bay during the closing minutes to claim his first victory in the series.

In the process, the Dane followed in the footsteps of father Kurt, who won the inaugural DTM season in 1986 and collected a pair of Norisring wins in 1989 and 1991.

Additionally, Thiim’s triumph comes just a week after he took victory in the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa with Comtoyou Racing.

Although Bortolotti finished third, SSR Performance initially appeared to be heading towards a 1-2 finish after the team locked out the front row in qualifying.

Thiim and Bortolotti ran at the head of the field for the opening half of the race, but Engel secured second when he pitted one lap earlier than Bortolotti and successfully undercut the Italian.

The Mercedes-AMG driver fought his way past the No. 92 Lamborghini on Bortolotti’s outlap before going on to finish second.

Arjun Maini came home in fourth in the No. 36 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT machine, with Rene Rast rounding out the top five aboard the No. 33 Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3.

Thomas Preining completed a pair of late-race overtakes on Luca Stolz and Sheldon van der Linde to finish sixth, while Ayhancan Guven and Kelvin van der Linde completed the top ten.

Van der Linde, piloting the No. 3 ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, fought back from mid-race contact with Jack Aitken’s No. 14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 that sent him spinning into the barriers at Turn 4.

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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