Major succes for Team 75 Bernhard
Porsche has joined the list of winners in the tradition-steeped DTM racing series. Led by Porsche brand ambassador Timo Bernhard, the Team 75 Bernhard squad celebrated a major success last Saturday with works driver Thomas Preining. His Norwegian colleague Dennis Olsen came second. Fourth place went to works driver Laurens Vanthoor. In the hands of the customer squads Team 75 Bernhard and SSR Performance, the Porsche 911 GT3 R demonstrated its full potential in the spectacular and eventful seventh round. The teams also earned vital points in Sunday’s race. No other manufacturer scored more championship points at the Norisring race weekend than Porsche.
“It was an all-around fantastic weekend with the historic maiden victory for Porsche in the DTM on Saturday,” says Sebastian Golz, Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R. “One of the key factors was the optimal preparation of our two customer teams. The cars were excellently set up and were at the front from the first practice session. It was wet for the second free practice and this seriously cut into our track time and hampered our chance to refine the setup for all teams.
In addition to meticulous preparation, the track knowledge that Thomas and Dennis brought to the table from their Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland races at the Norisring also paid off. Thomas drove an immaculate race on Saturday. He kept cool in the face of countless incidents and avoided any trouble. He brought his car home completely unscathed –exceptional in such chaotic events. The SSR drivers also made great headway on Saturday. On Sunday, we were unable to repeat the performance of the previous race win, partially due to the so-called handicap ballast. Nevertheless, we’re entering the second half of the season in stellar form.”
The DTM races on Saturday and Sunday
In bright sunshine and summery temperatures, the teams treated the 70,000 spectators to a special spectacle, especially on Saturday. Immediately after the start, a pile-up in the first corner saw the safety car deployed. At that time, Preining had defended his second grid spot at the wheel of Team 75 Bernhard’s No. 24 car. The Austrian works driver remained steadfast and uncompromising after the restart and snatched the lead. The 23-year-old from Linz confidently negotiated the safety car phases and full course yellows to ultimately cross the finish line with a 3.675-second advantage. Behind him, Dennis Olsen in the No. 94 SSR Performance car turned a competitor’s mistake to his advantage shortly before the chequered flag and scored second place. Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium finished fourth in the No. 92 sister car.
For Sunday’s race eight, Preining, as the previous day’s winner, had to load 25 kilograms of handicap weights into his 911 GT3 R, with Olsen’s vehicle allocated 20 kilograms. This significantly reduced the chances on the fast and short city circuit in Nuremberg. Nevertheless, Olsen and Preining managed to score further championship points with fifth and ninth. The two customer teams earned a total of 69 points from the Norisring weekend – considerably more than all other manufacturers in the DTM. In the manufacturers’ standings, Porsche ranks fourth heading into the second half of the season. Thomas Preining moved up the drivers’ championship to tenth, followed by Olsen and Vanthoor in twelfth and fifteenth, respectively.
After an eight-week summer break, the 2022 DTM season will resume with rounds nine and ten at the Nürburgring (Germany) in the last week of August.
Further impressions from the DTM race weekend at the Norisring
Thomas Preining (Porsche 911 GT3 R #24): “What a crazy weekend! Naturally, the absolute highlight was Saturday with the historic first victory for Porsche, our team and me in the DTM. In Saturday’s race, our plan worked like clockwork. It was simply a perfect day. We’re all over the moon and enormously proud. We engraved Porsche’s name in the list of DTM winners – that’ll stay there forever. After a strong qualifying session, I started Sunday’s race from the fourth grid spot. Unfortunately, the extra weight prevented me from doing better in that race. We achieved the maximum throughout the weekend.”
Timo Bernhard (Owner Team 75 Bernhard): “Saturday was truly a historic day. Our first victory as a team also means the first DTM triumph for Porsche in this tradition-steeped series – I can’t quite grasp the full scope of it yet. The fact that it happened at the Norisring of all places, the highlight of the DTM season in such a legendary setting, makes it even better. This success makes me proud because an unbelievable amount of work goes behind it – from my parents, me and my entire team. Thomas pulled it all together on Saturday and underlined our positive trend over the past few weeks. We’re certainly a force to be reckoned with in the second half of the season. We’re aiming for more podium finishes.”
Dennis Olsen (Porsche 911 GT3 R #94): “That was the strongest weekend of the season so far. Of course, I’m thrilled with second place. I’m happy for the whole team because we worked extremely hard and now we’re finally reaping the rewards. Another top-five result on Sunday was the crowning glory. Hopefully, we can keep building on this performance at the Nürburgring.”
Stefan Schlund (Owner SSR Performance): “I’m delighted with the number 94 car. The pit stops were great, the team worked excellently together and we earned decent points. Our number 92 car also performed well on Saturday. We collected 40 points in total, which is definitely a result to be proud of. Still, we have to use the summer break to take a good look at our performance so that we can go all-out at the Nürburgring.”
Results DTM race 7
1. Thomas Preining (A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #24, Team 75 Bernhard, 57 laps
2. Dennis Olsen (N), Porsche 911 GT3 R #94, SSR Performance, + 3.675 seconds
3. René Rast (D), Audi R8 LMS #33, Team Abt, + 4.154 seconds
4. Laurens Vanthoor (B), Porsche 911 GT3 R #92, SSR Performance, + 7.030 seconds
Results DTM race 8
1. Felipe Fraga (BR), Ferrari 488 GT3 #74, Red Bull AF Corse, 67 laps
2. Mirko Bortolotti (A), Lamborghini Huracan GT3 #63, GRT, + 2.709 seconds
3. René Rast (D), Audi R8 LMS #33, Team Abt, + 5.747 seconds
5. Dennis Olsen (N), Porsche 911 GT3 R #94, SSR Performance, + 15.172 seconds
9. Thomas Preining (A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #24, Team 75 Bernhard, + 24.294 seconds
16. Laurens Vanthoor (B), Porsche 911 GT3 R #92, SSR Performance, + 39.082 seconds
Full results at: www.dtm.com.
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Edited Porsche Factory Press Release
Pictures courtesy Porsche AG