Mirko Bortolotti leaves the Lausitzring second in the standings at the end of the second round of the DTM 2022.
The Trentino weekend saw him take his Lamborghini twice, in Race 1 with a good comeback, while in Race 2 he fought from the first corners to gain positions.
And in one of these brawls there was the controversial episode that then decided the fate of the race, allowing Sheldon Van Der Linde to run away with his BMW.
After an aggressive start from the second row, Bortolotti tried to throw himself inside at turn 2 to overtake René Rast’s Audi and Maro Engel’s Mercedes.
The disconnection near the curb caused the Huracan to break down for a moment, which touched the rear of Engel’s car, sending the GruppeM driver into the grass, from which he then returned in front of Bortolotti cutting the chicane.
The accident was investigated by the race management, which assessed whether Engel had actually obtained an advantage by leaving the track, but everything was resolved without measures.
“I was right next to him – Bortolotti told Motorsport.com – I took a blow, I arrived throwing myself inside the corner and there was a contact, but luckily it didn’t penalize anyone”.
According to Bortolotti, it was the disconnections inside Turn 2 that caused the hit.
“If he takes a bump under braking it’s a big problem, unfortunately that’s what happened to me. But no one has gained or lost positions. That’s why there were no penalties, it was a tough and fair duel, as it should be.”
Mirko Bortolotti, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3
Photo by: Andreas Beil
Even Engel, who then finished second, confirms this thesis: “I was side by side with Rast at turn 1: it was quite exciting! Then Mirko wanted to pass both of us at turn 2 and the situation got complicated”.
“I took a small hit on the left rear and didn’t have a chance to make the corner anymore. I almost turned around when I went over the grass.”
Engel came back in front of Bortolotti, who braked so as not to hit him again. In all of this, Rast took the opportunity to overtake the Grasser Racing Team standard bearer by climbing third, while Mirko then finished sixth after the stops.
The race director, Scot Elkins, explained how he and his collaborators assessed the episode: “Engel had no penalty because he did not gain any position while going off the track, or gaining something in doing so.”
Gottfried Grasser also lined up: “A praise to the race directors for allowing the drivers to race peacefully – he told Motorsport.com – In other series today we would have seen 26 Drive-Through”.
“This is part of the sport and if it’s really a move outside of fairness, the penalty comes. But when you push hard, you also have to leave some freedom in dueling.”
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