Porsche customer teams left an indelible mark on the 2022 DTM race weekend at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. In changing conditions on the legendary “roller coaster of the Ardennes”, the Norwegian Dennis Olsen took a lightning victory on Saturday at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R from SSR Performance. Factory driver Thomas Preining finished both races with a podium finish in the Team 75 Bernhard car.
Thanks to its team of experienced customers, Porsche was the most successful constructor at the recent DTM weekend. The SSR Performance and Team 75 Bernhard riders scored a combined 60 points across the two races – more than any other brand. Setting the fastest times in practice on Friday, the Porsche 911 GT3 R gave an indication of its strength on the 7.004 kilometer rollercoaster circuit. This trend continued the following days.
Driving for SSR Performance, Dennis Olsen managed to exploit the full potential of the 911 GT3 R on Saturday. In the morning, the Norwegian narrowly edged his Porsche colleague Thomas Preining (Team 75 Bernhard) for pole position. Early in the afternoon, Olsen picked up a landslide victory on the circuit steeped in tradition in Belgium. It was the first victory for a Norwegian in the DTM and, at the same time, the first victory for the Munich team SSR Performance in the top-level GT3 racing series.
Factory rider Thomas Preining also turned heads: at the start of the first race, the Austrian recovered from a spectacular drift in the lightning-fast passage of Eau Rouge and thrilled the fans with his driving skills. The winner of the Norisring race then systematically moved up from the middle of the pack to the podium. On Sunday, the 24-year-old from Linz followed up with another spirited performance: with breathtaking moves, Preining cut through the field from 8th on the grid to score third place again.
“The positive progress of the Porsche customer teams is evident. After our best qualifying with positions one, two and five on Saturday, we had a solid race result with a win and a podium. »said Sebastian Golz, Porsche 911 GT3 R project manager.
The next day we could see how difficult the DTM competition was: the choice of tires for qualifying on a dry track decided everything. Because of this, the SSR Performance riders didn’t have a chance in the race. However, Thomas Preining pointed out what the 911 GT3 R is capable of. His charge through the field from eighth to the podium was brilliant.
During the Spa-Francorchamps race weekend, drivers from Porsche customer teams occupied half of the podium steps, while the competition each had one driver on the podium. In the constructors’ championship, the sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart ranks fourth. In the Drivers’ Championship, Dennis Olsen (5th) and Thomas Preining (7th) have moved up the standings. The 2022 DTM season continues on the last weekend of September with rounds 13 and 14 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Drivers’ comments on the race weekend at Spa-Francorchamps
Thomas Preining (Porsche 911 GT3 R #24): “I’m just over the moon. The race weekend started in spectacular fashion with my huge slide at Eau Rouge. Fortunately, I managed to regain control of the car and finished third. Sunday was just as good – I made it to the podium with some cool overtaking manoeuvres. I really appreciated. We now want to build on that strong performance in my next home races at the Red Bull Ring. »
Dennis Olsen (Porsche 911 GT3 R #94): “Pole position and victory – a perfect Saturday. It was amazing. The conditions to clinch my first DTM win were very tricky. There were isolated showers but only in the area around the last chicane and the first corner. I had to rely on my instincts and team information for braking points and top cornering speeds. It was perfect teamwork. Unfortunately, we opted for the wrong tires for qualifying on Sunday. I could not do anything. It doesn’t matter now. My first DTM win is what sticks in my mind. »
Result race 11
1. Dennis Olsen (N), #94 Porsche 911 GT3 R, 23 laps
2. Maximilian Götz (R), Mercedes-AMG GT3 #1, +0.818 seconds
3. Thomas Preining (A), #24 Porsche 911 GT3 R, +6.972 seconds
DNF: Laurens Vanthoor (B), Porsche 911 GT3 R #92
Result race 12
1. Nick Cassidy (NZ), #37 Ferrari 488 GT3, 21 laps
2. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), BMW M4 GT3 #31, GRT, +0.680 seconds
3. Thomas Preining (A), #24 Porsche 911 GT3 R, +1.673 seconds
12. Laurens Vanthoor (B), #92 Porsche 911 GT3 R, +8.387 seconds
19. Dennis Olsen (N), #94 Porsche 911 GT3 R, +17.239 seconds
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DTM – Victory for Dennis Olsen at Spa with a Porsche 911 GT3 R
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