Lucas Auer won a chaotic DTM race at the Hockenheimring to close the points gap to leader Sheldon van der Linde to just two points, going into the final race on Sunday.
S. van der Linde finished second after climbing from 16th on the grid. He initially qualified sixth but received a 10-place grid penalty for the race. He also took the race fastest lap, on the last lap, earning himself a bonus point. His team, Schubert Motorsport, also won the teams’ championship
Marco Wittmann finished third but is not in title contention.
The race was marred by an early safety car period and then a red flag stoppage. The first happened on the first lap, with Maro Engel tipping Arjun Maini into a spin, who then went into the barriers backwards on the run to the hairpin.
When the race restarted, a crash at the first corner involving three cars, including Rolf Ineichen and David Schumacher, caused Ineichen to retire on the spot with Schumacher continuing.
However, that wasn’t the last incident Schumacher was involved in. At turn 7, the left hander after the hairpin, Schumacher and Thomas Preining came together, sending both hard into the barriers on drivers’ right. The force of the crash was so hard, it ripped the flat-six engine out of Preining’s Porsche 911, with huge damage to the car at both the front and the rear.
This, then, will likely mean Preining will be unable to race in the season finale tomorrow, ending his championship challenge.
At the same time, but independently, Ricardo Feller tipped Dennis Olsen into a spin. Olsen went into the barriers on the opposite side compared to Schumacher and Preining — drivers’ left — with, again, huge damage to Olsen’s car, which created a momentary fireball on the track surface as fuel leaked out. The race was red flagged to clear up the debris and recover the cars, including the engine block from the 911, lying on the track.
All drivers involved climbed out of the car on their own volition, and are being checked over by the medical services.
In fourth was Dev Gore, but his pitstop is being checked for legality amidst concerns it wasn’t taken within the mandatory pitstop window.
Fifth was Rene Rast, losing ground to title rivals Auer and S. van der Linde.
Philipp Eng was sixth, with the fourth title challenger, Mirko Bortolotti, in sixth. He remains in title contention, but realistically only has an outside shot at winning.
Nico Muller finished eighth, with Luca Stolz ninth and Maximillian Buhk rounding out the top 10.