Dennis Olsen (NOR) and Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) faced a difficult weekend. At the penultimate DTM event of the season, accidents and the wrong tire strategy prevented the hoped-for pursuit of points.
The weekend at the Red Bull Ring is a highlight for SSR Performance every year. With about 100 guests on site, the team from Munich had full support from sponsors, partners and friends. But qualifying turned out to be difficult. With the long straights and the 12% incline, the track presented some challenges. Dennis Olsen started the race from 18th position, teammate Laurens Vanthoor due to a drop back from P23.
The #94 car had to come into the pits just five minutes after the lights had switched to green. The vehicle was badly damaged after a collision with an opponent through no fault of its own. The sister car with the #92 also came into the pits a short time later. This ended the first run for SSR Performance.
Sunday was a thriller. Qualifying started in heavy rain on the 4.318-kilometer track in Styria. The session had to be abandoned three times, making it impossible to record good lap times. Dennis Olsen qualified P17, Laurens Vanthoor P20. For safety reasons, two formation laps were followed by a single file start. The initial phase remained relatively unspectacular. After the pit stops, things looked good for the Munich based team, but the tide turned again. The #92 had fought its way up to ninth position when it was spun by an opponent and dropped a few places.
Teammate Dennis Olsen also had tough battles ahead of him. The team decided to stay on rain tires. While he was on P4, he was overtaken by a few competitors on slicks and the #94 car didn’t have a chance to hold the position. In the end, the green cars crossed the finish line in ninth and 16th place.
The last DTM weekend will take place from October 7th to 9th at the Hockenheimring, Germany.
Mario Schuhbauer, Team Principal SSR Performance
“We definitely had hoped for more at the Red Bull Ring. The performance was there, but we couldn’t reflect it in the results due to various factors. We still have two races ahead of us, and we want to finish them as best we can.”
Maike Frik, Team Manager SSR Performance
“The race weekend at the Red Bull Ring was a big challenge for us. After two disappointing DNFs through no fault of our own on Saturday, we wanted to attack fully again today – knowing well that the Porsche and both drivers are strong in the rain. Several red flags in qualifying and the weather made Sunday a gamble. The performance of the vehicles was good – that’s why we now have to concentrate on the finale at the Hockenheimring in two weeks’ time.”
Laurens Vanthoor, #92 driver SSR Performance
“It was a disappointing weekend. At the start of the race on Saturday I had a few contacts and had to park the car early. With the red flags in qualifying on Sunday, it was not possible for me to set a good time. We bet on the wrong tires in the race.”
Dennis Olsen, #94 driver SSR Performance
“Both qualifying sessions were difficult. Maybe luck wasn’t on our side, or we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We just weren’t strong enough. In the second race I felt very strong on P4, but the following cars were on slicks. I did my best to hold my position but had to show defeat with P9. It wasn’t the weekend I had hoped for, so the championship was over for me.”
Results 1st DTM race at Red Bull Ring 1. #37 Nick Cassidy // Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse // Ferrari
2. #33 René Rast // Team Abt // Audi
3. #63 Mirko Bortolotti // GRT // Lamborghini
DNF #94 Dennis Olsen // SSR Performance // Porsche
DNF #92 Laurens Vanthoor // SSR Performance // Porsche
Results 2nd DTM race at Red Bull Ring 1. #24 Thomas Preining // KÜS Team Bernhard // Porsche
2. #4 Luca Stolz // Mercedes-AMG Team HRT // Mercedes
3. #88 Maro Engel // Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing // Mercedes
9. #94 Dennis Olsen // SSR Performance // Porsche
16. #92 Laurens Vanthoor // SSR Performance // Porsche
Team ranking after the seventh DTM weekend: 1. Schubert Motorsport // 185 points
2. Abt Sportsline // 142 points
3. Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse // 129 points
5. SSR Performance // 119 points
Driver ranking after the seventh DTM weekend: 1. Sheldon van der Linde // 130 points
2. Lucas Auer // 119 points
3. Rene Rast // 118 points
8. Dennis Olsen // 89 points
17. Laurens Vanthoor // 30 points
Source. SSR Performance