Important championship points and a podium for Manthey EMA at the DTM at the Sachsenring

  • Thomas Preining back on the podium with second place in first race at the Sachsenring
  • Dennis Olsen in the points with seventh place in Saturday's race
  • Manthey EMA second in both the DTM team and driver standings

Meuspath. 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.

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.

Quotes on the DTM at the Sachsenring:

Nicolas Raeder, Managing Director Manthey Racing GmbH:
“The weekend at the Sachsenring - a rollercoaster of emotions for us. After losing the championship lead in the last race, it was of course our goal to regain it. With Thomas in second and Dennis in seventh place in the first race, we briefly succeeded in doing so. Both were able to improve their grid positions with good performance and strategy. In Sunday's race, Thomas also managed to move up from eleventh to fourth place, which was a great performance. Unfortunately, Dennis had an accident at the start through no fault of his own and had to retire from the race. The most important thing is that he was unharmed and the damage to the car was not too bad. Nevertheless, we have dropped back to second place in both the drivers' and the teams' Championship. The situation is getting more and more difficult for us as other cars are very dominant at the moment and the season is slowly but surely coming to an end.”

Dennis Olsen, Porsche 911 GT3 R #90:
“It was a tricky weekend for me. In the first race, we managed to score some points from a difficult starting position, and I enjoyed the race itself. But we had big problems in qualifying on Sunday and started from 23rd place. On top of that, we were involved in an accident in the race through no fault of our own, which was a shame. We had already made up some positions in the first three corners and it was looking good to finish in the points again. Unfortunately, we were unable to repair the car during the red flag because the damage was too extensive. Retiring is obviously very disappointing. But now, looking ahead to the next race, we need to analyse and understand what happened in qualifying and get back to where we belong. I'm still confident that we can finish the season on a high note.”

Thomas Preining, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91:
“All in all a very positive weekend. We were in the top three in both free practices on Friday and made good progress with the car. We were then able to put this pace to good use on Saturday. With an excellent strategy and a very good pit stop, I was able to finish second. However, overnight our competitors seemed to have made significant steps forward that we couldn't keep up with, so unfortunately, we had to start from eleventh place on Sunday. Thankfully I was able to stay out of the chaos after the start. With our strategy and the fastest pit stop of the race by the crew, I was able to move up to fifth and then in the end fourth place. These are important points for the championship, but at the moment there is simply nothing more in it, which is frustrating.”

Team standings after 12 of 16 rounds:

1. SSR Performance (Lamborghini), 245 points
2. Manthey EMA (Porsche), 240 points
3. ABT Sportsline (Audi), 214 points
4. Schubert Motorsport (BMW), 192 points
5. Mercedes-AMG Team HRT (Mercedes), 121 points
6. Mercedes-AMG WINWARD RACING (Mercedes), 110 points
7. EMIL FREY RACING (Ferrari), 104 points
8. Mercedes-AMG Team Landgraf (Mercedes), 104 points
9. KÜS Team Bernhard (Porsche), 102 points
10. Toksport WRT (Porsche), 89 points
11. Project 1 (BMW), 62 points
12. GRT Grasser-Racing-Team (Lamborghini), 48 points
13. Tresor Attempto Racing (Audi), 35 points
14. LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler (Audi),14 points

Drivers' standings after 12 of 16 rounds:

1. Mirko Bortolotti (I/SSR Performance/Lamborghini), 173 points
2. Thomas Preining (A/Manthey EMA/Porsche), 164 points
3. Ricardo Feller (S/Team Abt Sportsline/Audi), 142 points
4. Sheldon van der Linde (Z/Schubert Motorsport/BMW), 113 points
5. Luca Stolz (D/ Mercedes-AMG Team HRT/Mercedes), 106 points
6. Lucas Auer (A/Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD/Mercedes), 95 points
7. Franck Perera (F/ SSR Performance/Lamborghini), 87 points
8. Dennis Olsen (N/Manthey EMA/Porsche), 87 points

DTM Race Calendar 2023:

26.05. – 28.05.2023 Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
23.06. – 25.06.2023 Circuit Zandvoort / NL
07.07. – 09.07.2023 Norisring
04.08. – 06.08.2023 Nürburgring
18.08. – 20.08.2023 DEKRA Lausitzring
08.09. – 10.09.2023 Sachsenring
22.09. – 24.09.2023 Red Bull Ring / A
20.10. – 22.10.2023 Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg