Splendid end to the season for GRT in the DTM. For the showdown in the high-caliber championship, 88,000 spectators came to the Hockenheimring from 20 to 22 October in beautiful autumn weather and the Austrian Lamborghini Team once again presented itself in stellar form. For the last competition of the year, Christian Engelhart returned to Grasser Racing at the wheel of the #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 and delivered a highlight straight away. With third place in Saturday's race, he gave Gottfried Grasser's team yet another DTM podium and a conciliatory end to this year’s DTM season.
After intensive preparations, GRT got off to a flying start in the first qualifying session on Saturday. With a sensational performance, Christian Engelhart drove the GGMT-branded #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 to second place on the 28 strong DTM grid. The 36-year-old missed out his first pole position in the DTM by just one tenth of a second. For Clemens Schmid, ninth on the grid was also a promising starting position. However, the Austrian could have done much better. After setting the fastest times in the first two sectors, he was blocked by an opponent and missed out on a place in the front rows of the grid.
Saturday's race as well went according to plan for Engelhart. He lost a position at the start, but easily kept up with the leading duo in the first stint. He built up a comfortable lead of over four seconds on his pursuers. After the pit stop, the German was in control of third place over the rest of the race distance and thus secured GRT's seventh podium in the DTM. Schmid finished the first race on the 4.574 km long Grand Prix circuit of the Hockenheimring in twelfth place. However, he lost the result afterwards because his car fell short of the minimum weight stipulated in the regulations.
On Sunday, luck was not on the side of the GRT crew. Christian Engelhart once again put in a strong performance in qualifying with eighth position on the grid. However, he was not granted the opportunity to match his brilliant performance of the previous day. In the third lap he was taken out of the race by a competitor through a collision that was not his fault. For Clemens Schmid, things did not go as planned either. The 33-year-old did not get beyond a starting position on row eleven of the grid in qualifying. In a turbulent race in the midfield, he finished 24th after 36 laps.
Christian Engelhart (GER)
#19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2
Qualifying 1: P2 - Race 1: P3
Qualifying 2: P8 - Race 2: DNF
Christian Engelhart: "We had a really fast car in Hockenheim and it was a lot of fun to fight at the front with GRT in the DTM. The team did an excellent job and I would like to thank Gottfried, his crew and the team partners for the opportunity this weekend. I am very proud of our performance and to have justified the trust put in me with the podium on Saturday. As for the accident with Marco Wittmann, there is not much to say. There was no room there, he tried anyway and ruined our race. That's a great shame, because we certainly would have had another chance for a good result on Sunday."
Clemens Schmid (AUT)
#63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2
Qualifying 1: P9 - Race 1: DNF
Qualifying 2: P21 - Race 2: P24
Clemens Schmid: "We hoped for much more in the final round, but the weekend did not match our expectations. The preparations went well and the pace was promising. However, in the first qualifying session I was held up on my best lap and could not make the best use of the tyre's peak. I paid the price for that in the race, because there was absolutely no progress in the midfield. It is a pity that we lost the points result afterwards. On Sunday, nothing was possible with the starting position. I would have liked to go into the winter break with a different result, but unfortunately it was not granted to us."
Gottfried Grasser, Team Principal of GRT: "It was a mega debut for Christian with us in the DTM. To put the car on the front row of the grid at the first attempt and to then finish on the podium impressed us all and filled us with pride. We had a very long and successful history together until our paths parted in 2019 due to him changing brands. When he returned to us for Hockenheim, everything was back to normal after a few hours and we are of course overjoyed with the result of this collaboration. It was a real shame for Clemens that he couldn't match his strong result from the Red Bull Ring at Hockenheim. Sunday definitely was not what we had imagined, but such days are part and parcel of this business. Finally, I would like to thank the whole team for their tireless efforts this season. Many thanks also to our sponsors and supporters who have been on this journey with us this year, especially our friends from GGMT, who have only recently become part of the GRT family and with whom we already share a strong bond. We are proud to have such partners on board and I look forward to the future."