Narain Karthikeyan has taken victory in a chaotic second SUPER GT X DTM Dream Race, finishing ahead of DTM regulars Marco Wittmann and Loic Duval after a race that saw three safety car and a number of spills.
Loic Duval had started the race from pole position but was quickly swallowed by the pack as Honda runners, led by Karthikeyan, solidified their positions up front. Things then went from bad to worse for Duval as he suffered a spectacular rear puncture, which brought out the safety car and dropped the Frenchman further down the field.
Shortly after the restart, Marco Wittmann and Rene Rast pitted together, which would prove a masterstroke in the later stages of the race. Karthikeyan pitted shortly thereafter, handing the lead to Audi’s Benoit Treluyer. The Frenchman had pitted under the safety car but was forced to stop again later as his first stop didn’t count as a mandatory stop.
A second Audi then suffered a blowout as Rast’s rear tyre exploded on the main straight, bringing out a second safety car. After the second restart, a number of SUPER GT runners got involved in spectacular collisions that brought out a third safety car, as debris and wrecked cars had to be cleaned up.
Karthikeyan, who had 46 starts in Formula One with Jordan and HRT, survived a sprint to the flag to take his first racing win since 2013. Wittmann won a fierce fight with DTM colleague Loic Duval to come second after Duval was handed a penalty for track limits infringements. Duval’s third place finish was especially impressive after his puncture in the opening laps.
Naoki Yamamoto came fourth after an impressive final lap in which he made up three places in the Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX-GT, while Kamui Kobayashi made it two BMW’s inside the top five.