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Lamborghini leads DTM driver and manufacturer standings after second win of year at Norisring

8 July 2024

SSR Performance’s Nicki Thiim converts pole to win in race two as Bortolotti becomes new points leader

Lamborghini claimed its second DTM victory of the season courtesy of SSR Performance’s Nicki Thiim on the streets of the Norisring in Nuremberg. Meanwhile, team-mate Mirko Bortolotti snatched the lead of the championship after a pair of top five finishes.

The #94 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 of Thiim was the class of the field on Sunday, having taken pole position in the morning and leading comfortably before the mandatory pit-stops. The Danish driver, who finished fourth in Saturday’s opening race after qualifying second, came home just under a second clear of Maro Engel’s Mercedes, with Bortolotti taking the final place on the podium in third.

Along with his fifth place in race one and the points gained for starting second for Sunday’s second encounter, Bortolotti moved into the lead of the standings heading into the fifth round of the year at the Nürburgring in August. The latest victory also means that Lamborghini lead the Manufacturers championship.

Thiim’s victory is Lamborghini’s second of the 2024 DTM season – and SSR Performance’s first – with GRT – Grasser Racing Team’s Luca Engstler taking the win in the second race of the year at Oschersleben.

The Huracán GT3 EVO2 was on the pace all weekend at the five-turn, 2.162km circuit, with four cars inside the top 10 at the end of the first free practice session on Friday morning. Thiim and Bortolotti then confirmed the pace of the SSR cars with the third and fourth quickest times respectively in the second session. Come qualifying, due to the tight nature of the track, the field was split into two separate groups, with the grid determined by the quickest times from each session.

Thiim was the highest-placed Lamborghini on the grid for race one, starting second and the Dane maintained his position in the opening stages. However, rain was an omnipresence on the radar and duly arrived at various points during the race, forcing teams to ponder whether to move onto wet tyre or stick on the slicks they started with. Some took the gamble and switched to wets, but the track began to dry which gave those who stayed on slicks the upper hand.

The rain returned entering the final 11 minutes and was heavy enough to bring many cars back into the pits. Bortolotti and Thiim switched to wet tyres while the interloper Franck Perera – making a one-off outing in place of Christian Engelhart in the #63 GRT machine – remained on slicks. That gamble, replicated by Paul Motorsport’s Maximilian Paul, paid off with second place at the finish while Paul was third. Thiim, after a lively battle with Bortolotti, led home his team-mate in fourth.

Thiim and Bortolotti started Sunday in the best possible fashion by each topping their respective qualifying sessions, ensuring an SSR Performance front-row lock-out on the grid. At the rolling start, Thiim held onto his lead from Bortolotti, who was under extreme pressure from the Mercedes of Engel, to whom he subsequently lost second place after the pit-stops.

Out front, the #94 of Thiim built a healthy early lead of just over a second and remained ahead of both Engel and Bortolotti after the stops, cycling back into the overall lead after the off-sequence Audi and Ferrari made their trips to the pits. A late safety car intervention for debris on the track meant that the field was tightly bunched together in the last minutes, but Thiim held his nerve to take a breakthrough maiden victory in the series, with Bortolotti just behind Engel in third.

Bortolotti’s podium means he now holds a five-point margin in the championship standings over the Audi of Kelvin van der Linde, heading into the Nürburgring, historically a strong circuit for Lamborghini and where the Lamborghini Factory Driver claimed a victory last year.

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