The DTM last made a guest appearance at the Sachsenring in 2002. After more than 20 years, the racing series now returns to the circuit in Saxony.
The Sachsenring is in Hohenstein-Ernstthal, a local town in the Zwickau district. As well as being the home of the Sachsenring, the town is also known as the birthplace of the writer Karl May, who wrote the famous Winnetou novels.
Since its opening, the Sachsenring has served mainly as a venue for motorcycle races.
There is an extremely strict noise limit at the Sachsenring due to the very close proximity of residential buildings. Thus, the passing noise of the vehicles under full load may not exceed 93 dB.
Race Review Manthey EMA was once again on the podium at the eleventh round of the DTM at the Sachsenring with Thomas Preining (Austria) in second place, narrowly missing out on another podium spot on Sunday with a fourth-place finish. Dennis Olsen (Norway) could only score championship points with a seventh place on Saturday due to a collision in the second race through no fault of his own. In Sunday's race the team achieved the fastest pit stop of the field. After twelve of 16 rounds, Manthey EMA is within striking distance of the top of the DTM team and driver standings, just a few points behind the leaders.
Manthey EMA's expectations for the DTM race at the Sachsenring were influenced, among other things, by the conditions of the well-known motorbike circuit. The Sachsenring is a fluid track characterised by an angular first sector followed by the very fast sectors two and three. The track places high demands on the tyres of the vehicles, especially on the right rear. For this reason, a suitable vehicle set-up that gives the drivers confidence in the car in the fast corners, but also sufficient mechanical grip for the first section of the track, is of great importance. Manthey EMA's goal for the DTM race at the Sachsenring was to regain the lead in the drivers' championship and defend the lead in the team standings. To achieve this, top-five finishes and, in the best case, a return to the DTM podium were to be achieved with both cars.
The 'Grello' drivers, Preining and Olsen, took to the famous motorbike circuit right at the start of the 20-minute qualifying session on Saturday morning to set their lap times and thus starting positions for the eleventh round of the DTM. Thomas Preining put the number 91 Porsche in third place with a time of 1:17.759 minutes, while Dennis Olsen started the race from ninth place with 1:18.180 minutes on the 3.645-kilometre circuit. After the first third of the one-hour race, the Austrian Preining and his teammate Olsen made their way to the pit lane for the mandatory pit stop at the beginning of the pit stop window in positions three and ten. In both cases, this strategy paid off: Car 91, which was the first to pit, moved up to second place, while the Porsche number 90 made up three places to seventh. The Grello Porsches still held these positions when the chequered flag fell at the Sachsenring. This result saw Thomas Preining briefly regain the lead of the drivers' standings, while Dennis Olsen also scored important championship points.
The Sunday at the Sachsenring already proved to be more difficult than the day before in qualifying. Manthey EMA's two Porsche 911 GT3 R were far from able to keep up with the pace of the competition at the front, and the team's strategy of going out for a free lap at the start of the session couldn't make a difference to the qualifying result either. Thomas Preining took eleventh place with a lap time of 1:18.172 minutes, the Norwegian Olsen qualified 23rd with 1:18.892 minutes. The second DTM race at the Sachsenring got off to a turbulent start. Already on the opening lap, there were several collisions, in which Dennis Olsen in car number 90 was involved through no fault of his own. As the damage to the car could not be repaired during the 20-minute red flag phase, the car had to be parked in the garage prematurely. Thomas Preining went into the restart of the race in ninth position. After being called in for his mandatory pit stop at the very beginning of the pit window, as he had been on Saturday, the Austrian was able to make up ground thanks to the fastest pit stop of the race by the Manthey EMA crew and his strong performance. After 46 laps, he crossed the finish line in fifth place but moved up to fourth due to a post-race penalty for the third-placed driver.
After twelve of the 16 DTM races, Manthey EMA and Thomas Preining have relinquished the lead of the team and driver standings. However, they remain close to the top, only five points behind in the team standings (240 points) and nine behind in the drivers' standings (164 points). Dennis Olsen, who only scored points in the first race, is currently eighth overall.
The next round of the DTM takes place at the Red Bull Ring from 22 to 24 September and is the home race for Austrian driver Thomas Preining.
DTM results: Race 1: Thomas Preining | Position 02 Dennis Olsen | Position 07 Race 2: Thomas Preining | Position 04 Dennis Olsen | Position 23
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