Maximilian Paul charged his way to a maiden DTM victory at a rain-soaked Nurburgring GP circuit, for the second and final race of the weekend.
The Grasser Racing Team and Lamborghini junior driver charged up the field from outside the top-10 to claim his first DTM win as a debutant with a track which transitioned from mostly dry, to wet conditions.
He was brought in to replace Mick Wishofer solely for this weekend, and showcased a race-winning climb to become the eighth different DTM race winner in the 2023 season.
SSR Performance’s Mirko Bortolotti, and yesterday’s race winner, did not begin the race, unrelated to his mistake during qualifying earlier today.
At lights out, Kelvin van der Linde spun around after the first corner, putting himself to the back of the field and did not collect anyone in the process despite in the midst of the field in 10th.
Dennis Olsen also had a challenging first few corners as he ran wide in his #90 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3.R, falling to the back of the order and retired from the race having started in eighth position.
Both Team Winward Racing Mercedes-AMGs started strong as they went up from fourth and fifth into second and third during the opening laps, with Lucas Auer behind David Schumacher, who was behind front-runner Ricardo Feller who initially retained his pole position.
GRT’s Maximilian Paul moved up the field competitively in his #19 Lamborghini Huracan, but was given a black-and-white flag as a warning for forcing another car of the circuit.
After 10 minutes of running, Auer made a move into the lead after gaining better speed after the Schumacher S and into the chicane.
Soon after being overtaken, Feller was the first driver to make a pitstop in his Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 as the rain became heavier and himself, and a number of other drivers, could not continue on the slick tyres they had started on.
A full-course-yellow was deployed to retrieve the stranded Lamborghini of Alessio Deledda who spun at Turn 1 after having been caught out by Jack Aitken’s Emil Frey Ferrari exiting the pitlane.
Meanwhile, the front three runners – Auer, Paul and Team75 Motorsport’s Laurin Heinrich – all took the opportunity to pit.
With under 18 minutes remaining, green flag racing resumed the action as drivers throughout the field hustled for track position.
The #19 Lamborghini looked strong and asserted promising pace after climbing up the pack and kept within close range of the leading #22 Mercedes-AMG of Auer.
Their prominent and intense fight for the lead continued throughout the closing stages of the 1-hour race.
With 15 minutes remaining, Paul’s late pit stop for wet tyres gave him the confidence to make a move past Auer for the lead having started 13th on the grid.
The race ended under safety car conditions following Arjun Maini off-track excursion as he slid into the Turn 5 barriers.
Paul, Heinrich and Auer covered the podium spots after 35 laps of running.
In fourth place was the #48 Mercedes-AMG of Maro Engel, followed by Thomas Preining of Manthey EMA in fifth.
Sixth place was claimed by pole-sitter Feller in his #7 ABT Sportsline Audi, as Luca Engstler finished seventh.
Thierry Vermeulen landed eighth place in his #69 Emil Frey Ferrari 296 GT3.
David Schumacher and SSR Performance’s Franck Perera rounded off the top-10 finishers.
The next round of the 2023 calendar will be at the Lausitzring on 19-20 August.