Mercedes claim 1-2 in the season-opening race of DTM at Portimão.

The duo of Lucas Auer and Luca Stolz snatched first and second place for Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD and Mercedes-AMG Team HRT.

Auer and Stolz capitalised from the safety car restart, which saw the leader and pole-sitter Mirko Bortolotti become swallowed by the main group. Before fighting his way back to third at the flag.

A daring move by Auer during the opening laps, going past Mikaël Grenier on the inside of turn 5, set the tone for his win.

 “On Saturday, it went really well. The first race of the new season and the first win straight away,” said the Austrian post-race.

Thomas Jäger, Sporting Director DTM said:For Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, Saturday was a perfect start of the season! We hadn’t expected to be able to start the season with a 1-2 straight away”.

Stolz who started eighth praised the efforts of his pit crew post-race. “It went very well on Saturday, also because the guys had done a fantastic job during the pit stop”. 

Grasser Racing’s DTM debut started incredibly, with Bortolotti qualifying on pole, a first for a Lamborghini in the series. 

Credit: Gruppe C Photography

In the opening phase of the race, the Italian maintained his lead up until the safety car restart on lap 18. A temporary problem occurred at the restart and cost Bortolotti the win.

His teammate Rolf Ineichen qualified over a second off Bortolotti’s pace before retiring shortly after a pit stop on lap 16.

2017 and 2019 Constructors’ champions Team Rosberg also endured a difficult start to the season. Both Audis were forced into retirement in the early stages, with Nico Müller out of the race after a right rear puncture.

9-time WRC champion Sébastien Loeb also made his DTM race debut for Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse, recovering well from twenty-seventh in qualifying to finish sixteenth, beating his teammate Felipe Fraga.

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