Highs And Lows For Mikaël Grenier’s First DTM Race After Starting From Second Place
GRENIER QUALIFIED SECOND QUICKEST IN Q1 WITH TOP 24 CARS UNDER A SECOND
Mikaël Grenier has been shown good pace so far at the circuit Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal. He confirmed his top form by qualifying his #55 MERCEDES-AMG TEAM GRUPPEM RACING on the front row missing pole by a mere 0.011s.
Mikro Bortolotti driving the Lamborghini Huracan for GRT clocked in a 1:39.678 to Mik’s 1:39.689. Third place went to Lucas Auer with a 1:39.719.
As the cars line up on the formation lap for a rolling start for the 55 minutes + 1 lap race, the 30 cars lined up very tightly and when the green light lit up, Mik stayed right with the pole sitter through the first three corners even edging ahead of Bortolotti until they came out of corner three where Mik had to let Bortolotti by.
Settling into his pace, Grenier was pressured by Lucas Auer and on the second lap, Auer passed Mik for second place.
The pit window in DTM to change tires is between the 10 and 40 minutes mark. On lap 8, Grenier dove into the pits form third place to get fresh Michelin tires and rejoined the track in 18th. Second place Auer did the same a lap later. Although Auer rejoined in front of him, Mik had a good out lap and was able to get closer to the #22 MERCEDES-AMG TEAM WINWARD Auer and more importantly stay ahead of Nicky Thiim who was right behind Grenier prior to the pit stops.
As everyone was cycling through the pit stops, at the 40 minutes mark, the safety car came out for the stranded Lambighini Huracan of Rolf Ineichen.
At that point, Bortolotti was leading from Lucas Auer in second and Grenier in third.
The restart was in a side by side formation and as Mik was occupying third place he was right behind Bortolotti for the restart. With 16 minutes to go at the restart, the formation of the cars was extremely tight as everyone was looking to tan advantage of this opportunity.
When the green light lit up, Bortolotti did not go anywhere at first. His car not accelerating at all. As the cars behind fan out to make up position, Grenier was stuck behind Bortolotti and lost several places in the process.
He was shown in ninth place after the restart but kept falling back loosing positions lap after lap. By the time there was eight minutes left, Grenier was shown in 15th place. It is unknown at this time if there was contact or damage on the restart.
Bortolotti managed to loose less positions and needed up passing for third on the last lap. Lucas Auer went on to win the race with Lucas Stolz 0.85s behind and Bortolotti in third 1.81s behind the race winner.
Mik Grenier finished 13 seconds behind in 15th.
After the race, asked what had happened on the restart with his car, Bortolotti mentioned he had not idea what had happened as there was no power delivered when he accelerated.
Surely a tough break for Mik Grenier who was well on his way to score a podium on his first DTM race.
With his fastest lap of 1:41.562, Mik had the eight fastest time of the race. Quickest lap time went to Lucas Stolz with a 1:41.154.
Q2 and Race 2 will take place Sunday morning Eastern time. Race 2 is scheduled 7:30am Eastern time.
As we included a link to watch the DTM action on yesterday’s post, it turned out we cannot view the race from that link due to TV rights.
The best way to watch Mik Grenier throughout his DTM races is to go to www.motortrendondemand.com
There is a $4.99US monthly or annual fee.
Image: DTM – Gruppe C Photography