Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Aitken stays away from Rast and secures victory in the primary match

The former Formula 1 driver remained on top of things throughout the race, taking a dominant victory from pole position in his Emil Frey Ferrari, which added to his victory within the season opener at Oschersleben.

Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast finished second for his first podium of the season, while Arjun Maini finished in the highest three ahead of Sunday's race.

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When the lights went out for the fifth round of the campaign, Aitken took off with ease, with second-placed Clemens Schmid thwarting Maini's attack within the opening corners.

Aitken regularly gained 2.1 seconds on Schmid in the primary 11 minutes, and Rast, after jumping from seventh to fourth during this era, showed strong pace later within the race.

Overtaking, nevertheless, proved difficult as a consequence of the tightness of the Dutch track, as drivers held positions until the pitstop window 21 minutes into the race.

Schmid was the primary of the favorites to pit, but this proved costly as Aitken gained a nine-second advantage after changing tires on the next lap.

The Dorr McLaren driver then dropped one other position when Rast pitted behind Aitken, while Maini accomplished one other lap before pitting.

Arjun Maini, Mercedes-AMG HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Team

Arjun Maini, Mercedes-AMG HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Team

Photo: Alexander Trienitz

The long sweep gave the impression to be a masterstroke because the Mercedes driver exited the pit lane just ahead of Aitken, but was capable of regain the lead with Maini on the earliest opportunity just before turn three.

Maini lost second place to Rast 10 minutes later when the Schubert BMW went down the within Turn 1 before specializing in Aitken, who was two seconds ahead with 23 minutes remaining.

However, Rast did not make any significant gains as Aitken crossed the finish line 2.3 seconds ahead and moved as much as third within the championship.

Maini was one other 3.2 seconds behind and Schmid missed out on a fourth podium spot within the DTM.

Lucas Auer accomplished the highest five ahead of 2022 champion Sheldon van der Linde in sixth, while Marco Wittmann finished seventh after passing Riccardo Feller into the primary corner with 13 minutes left.

Mirko Bortolotti and Luca Stolz finished in the highest ten, while championship leader Kelvin van der Linde finished 14th.

Netherlands Zandvoort – Race 1

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