Tim Heinemann (D), Toksport WRT (#9), Christian Engelhart (D), Toksport WRT (#99)
Quadruple triumph for the 911 GT3 R in Sunday’s thrilling race
One-two for Toksport WRT with Christian Engelhart winning race two
Tim Heinemann ranks first overall after his debut
Thomas Preining dominates on Sunday, penalty thwarts victory
With four 911 GT3 R occupying the first four places at round two of the season on Sunday, Porsche’s customer teams left their mark on the 2023 DTM opening weekend. The man of the weekend was series newcomer Tim Heinemann, who took the lead in the drivers’ standings thanks to two second places. After the one-two result, the Toksport WRT squad ranks first in the team standings, with Porsche also at the top of the manufacturers’ standings.
Driving for Toksport WRT, Christian Engelhart won Sunday’s race at the opening weekend of the DTM in Oschersleben. Second place went to his teammate Tim Heinemann. The DTM newcomer turned heads at his debut when he clinched second place at race one on Saturday. Third place on Sunday went to polesitter Thomas Preining from the Manthey EMA team. Preining had held the lead for a long time, only to have a penalty lap due to a faulty pit stop thwart the Austrian from claiming victory. Driving the second “Grello” 911 fielded by the Nürburgring-based racing team, the Norwegian Dennis Olsen rounded off the leading Porsche quartet.
“That was an exciting race with the drivers from Toksport WRT and Manthey EMA driving an extremely fast and intelligent race,” says Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R, about Sunday’s race. “After Saturday’s race, all six drivers felt highly motivated because they saw what’s possible with the Porsche 911 GT3 R here in Oschersleben. From the start of the second race they quickly agreed among themselves to give each other space to drive cleanly. As such, they were able to take an offensive approach, pushed to the end and were rewarded for it.”
Polesitter Thomas Preining dominates over long stretches
With an advantage of a mere 0.05 seconds, Preining had secured pole position for Sunday’s race in the morning’s qualifying session ahead of former sim racer Heinemann. Three other 911 GT3 R drivers, Olsen, Ayhancan Güven and Engelhart, lined up on the grid in fifth, sixth and seventh places. Güven’s Team75 Bernhard teammate Laurin Heinrich was the only Porsche driver outside the top 10 with P21.
At the start, Preining quickly pulled clear of his pursuers. Although two safety car phases before and after his pit stop bunched the field together, the Austrian kept his cool and quickly eked out a gap between himself and the rest of the field. However, with eight laps remaining, a minor breach of the rules due to the mechanics’ handling of the tyres during the pit stop resulted in a penalty lap for the Manthey EMA driver. Losing around five seconds, Preining had to let the two Toksport WRT drivers overtake him.
Thanks to consistently fast laps and a late well-timed pit stop, Engelhart moved into the lead after working his way up the order – which included getting past his teammate Heinemann. Meanwhile, Laurin Heinrich made the greatest improvement in the 911 GT3 R fielded by Team75 Bernhard. The German steadily progressed from 21st on the grid to achieve ninth place after 41 laps. Bad luck plagued Ayhancan Güven this weekend: After retiring from Saturday’s race, a technical problem ended the race for Team75 Bernhard’s second driver on Sunday.
Inspired drive from Tim Heinemann on Saturday
Tim Heinemann tackled the first DTM race on Saturday afternoon from seventh on the grid. Putting in a cracking start, the German immediately made up two positions on lap one. According to the race director, his overtaking manoeuvre against Ferrari driver Jack Aitken shortly afterwards was a little too aggressive. As a result, he had to relinquish his fourth place to the ex-Formula 1 driver. “That was definitely not the smartest move,” commented Heinemann. “But if you want to play with the big boys, you simply have to take risks.” Ultimately, the Toksport WRT squad found the decisive pit stop opportunity to get their No. 9 car past Aitken and across the line in second place. Teammate Engelhart finished in ninth place.
Laurin Heinrich also celebrated his DTM debut on Saturday. Tackling the race from P9 on the grid, the Team75 Bernhard driver moved up to eighth place before his pit stop, squeezed past another rival during the tyre change and defended seventh place to the flag. His teammate Ayhancan Güven turned heads with the fastest race lap. However, while running in tenth place, a technical defect threw him out of contention and he was classified 20th.
Like with his EMA teammate Olsen, Preining – the fastest Porsche driver in the morning’s qualifying session with sixth place – also lost precious time in the race due to a fluffed pit stop. The two “Grello” drivers took the flag in positions ten (Olsen) and eleven (Preining).
Comments on the race weekend in Oschersleben Christian Engelhart (Toksport WRT, Porsche 911 GT3 R #99): “What a brilliant Sunday for Porsche and a great race for Toksport WRT today. The fact that I managed to come from seventh to first place is something extraordinary! The key to success was a perfect strategy with fast laps followed by a very good pit stop. After that, I was able to defend my position until the tyres warmed up and the air pressure was right again. But all in all, a mega job from my team and I am also delighted for Porsche!”
Tim Heinemann (Toksport WRT, Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “A fantastic weekend! Yesterday was incredible and we wanted to repeat that today. But we couldn’t have imagined that it would work so well. For Porsche and especially for Toksport WRT, this is a huge success and a confirmation of the work that the team has done over the winter. I’m super happy with my performance and that I’m leaving Oschersleben as the championship leader – that still sounds a bit surreal to me. It’s also a fantastic affirmation of the commitment of our mechanics.”
Thomas Preining (Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91): “It’s hard to find the right words. I had the second race in my hands from the start. Everything ran smoothly and my pace was great. The Porsche drove really well. We made good progress throughout the weekend – I’m very proud of the team. I’ll just put the penalty behind me. I still don’t quite know what happened. After yesterday’s race, we were able to come back strong today. This is exactly what we’ll do in Zandvoort.”
Laurin Heinrich (Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R #75): “Essentially, I’m satisfied with Sunday’s race. Given that overtaking isn’t easy on this track, moving from 21st on the grid to ninth is good here at Oschersleben. I was unlucky in qualifying and so I had to make the best of the situation. I got off to a good start and immediately managed to gain two places. Our strategy worked and in the second half of the race, I could really attack with the fresh tyres. Before the race I never expected to make it into the top 10. Now we have to work on qualifying further up the grid next time.”
Result race 1:
1. Franck Perrera (F), Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO 2 #94, 44 laps
2. Tim Heinemann (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, + 3.987 seconds
3. Jack Aitken (UK), Ferrari 296 GT3 #14, +8.077 seconds
7. Laurin Heinrich (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #75, + 17.268 seconds
9. Christian Engelhart (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #99, + 18.753 seconds
10. Dennis Olsen (N), Porsche 911 GT3 R #90, + 22.022 seconds
11. Thomas Preining (A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, + 22.601 seconds
20. Ayhancan Güven (TR), Porsche 911 GT3 R #24, + 4 laps
Result race 2:
1. Christian Engelhart (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #99, 41 laps
2. Tim Heinemann (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, + 0.872 seconds
3. Thomas Preining (A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, + 2.104 seconds
4. Dennis Olsen (N), Porsche 911 GT3 R #90, + 3.791 seconds
9. Laurin Heinrich (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #75, + 8.898 seconds
DNF Ayhancan Güven (TR), Porsche 911 GT3 R #24, +12 laps
Drivers’ classification after 2 of 16 races:
1. Tim Heinemann (D/Toksport WRT/Porsche), 42 points
2. Franck Perera (F/SSR Performance/Lamborghini), 32 points
3. Christian Engelhart (D/Toksport WRT/Porsche), 32 points
4. Thomas Preining (A/Manthey EMA/Porsche), 24 points
7. Dennis Olson (N/Manthey EMA/Porsche), 19 points
10. Laurin Heinrich (D/Team75 Bernhard/Porsche), 16 points
Team classification after 2 of 16 races:
1. Toksport WRT (Porsche), 72 points
2. SSR Performance (Lamborghini), 47 points
3. Manthey EMA (Porsche), 40 points
7. Team75 Bernhard (Porsche), 16 points
Further information, film and photo material in the Porsche Newsroom: newsroom.porsche.com
The Twitter channel @PorscheRaces and Instagram @porsche.motorsport provide live updates from Porsche Motorsport with the latest information from racetracks around the world.