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    Lawson, podium and top spot in DTM

    Liam Lawson moved back to the top of the overall DTM standings, courtesy of his third place in Race-1 at Assen.

    Assen 18 settembre 2021

    Liam Lawson moved back to the top of the overall DTM standings, courtesy of his third place in Race-1 at Assen. The Red Bull AF Corse driver produced another splendid performance, culminating in his seventh podium of the season, which, thanks to Kelvin Van der Linde's unfortunate race, puts the New Zealander on the summit of the championship standings. Alex Albon retired after multiple contacts at the start.

    Chaos at the start. Poleman Liam Lawson was quick to extend his lead at the start, while behind him, several cars, too close together, were involved in minor but decisive accidents. These included the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Alex Albon, which suffered light damage to its front-end but severe to its rear-end that forced him to retire during his pitstop on lap 12. Previously, the Safety Car had been out to clear up the track, leaving the scene with 46 minutes to go. Lawson again held off the pack at the restart, but allowed Bortolotti to pass him. The latter was a race guest and so did not affect the points. Maximilian Götz, one of the drivers still in contention for the title, was the first to make a mandatory stop. With this manoeuvre, the Mercedes driver undercut Lawson and retook the lead after the New Zealander's stop.

    Safety Car again. Although yet to make his mandatory stop, Kelvin Van der Linde led the race, more than twenty seconds ahead of his pursuers, when the Safety Car came back out to clear debris. With his advantage wiped out, the race turned gruelling for the Audi driver and, at the same time, opened up unexpected possibilities for the others, including Marco Wittmann. The BMW man mounted a decisive attack on Lawson, forcing the Ferrari driver off the track. A lap later, he made a similar move on Götz, becoming virtual race leader behind the two ABT drivers, still with zero on the pit stop sheet. Lawson successfully imitated Wittmann, passing the Mercedes driver and moving into virtual second place just before the commissioners decided to impose a five-second penalty on Wittmann for his attack on the Ferrari driver. At this point, the German made his move on Rockenfeller, extending his lead over the Ferrari man, who failed to get the better of the Audi driver. Two laps from the end, with Wittmann almost ten seconds ahead of Lawson and the Audis pitting for their respective stops, Bortolotti passed Lawson and finished just behind Wittmann.

    New leader. This result put Lawson back on top of the championship standings, with 156 points, an eight-point lead over the duo of Van der Linde and Wittmann and nine over Götz. Despite his zero, Albon held onto sixth position with 94 points.