DTM: Maini out of luck at Assen after trouble in both races
The Indian had little luck in both of the races.
Arjun Maini continued his DTM journey with GetSpeed Performance abode the #36 Mercedes-AMG GT3 machine in Round 6 at Assen in Netherlands. He started off with a 17th place finish in FP1 and improved to fourth in FP2 ahead of the qualifying.
The Qualifying 1 saw Maini end up 13th in the order but within 0.4s of the time of pole-sitter in what was a close qualifying session. His race, though, ended before he could get going. A slow getaway at the front hampered the drivers behind and resulted in several collisions.
Maini not only had damage to the front-end of his car, but also the rear, which was enough to end his race after completing just the one lap. Team boss Adam Osieka saw the funny side but was disappointed how the drivers behaved at the front of the grid.
"The term 'completely overhauled' is now gaining a whole new meaning for us," he said. "At the start there was a real traffic jam with several rear-end collisions. Arjun was hit several times, so that we had to attach new parts almost all around. That was an absolutely unnecessary situation and I hope that the start will work better tomorrow."
The Qualifying 2 on Sunday saw Maini show some good pace, whereby he was leading the pack after their first run. The second run was hampered due to a red flag period, whereby only about two minutes was remaining. The Indian did cross the line before the flag fell and was eighth.
However, the post-qualifying checks dropped him to 16th for Race 2 start, after it was found that he crossed the finish line when there was only 0.8s remaining on the clock. The stewards noted that when a red flag is there, the adjustments with the clock has to be manually done after the session.
“The fact that he crossed the line too late was initially not recorded, because after a red flag and the resumption of the session there is a delay of one second in the timekeeping for technical reasons. This is always corrected manually after the session," the statement stated.
This error put Maini way back in 16th. Even though he started well to be 12th at one stage, but an early stop did not work, as the tyres degraded earlier than expectation and left him vulnerable towards the end of the race, where he ended up 13th eventually.
“I got off to a good start and was able to make up four places straight away," said Maini. "Like almost all teams, we then made an early pit stop. The first laps were okay, but after that the tires deteriorated extremely quickly, so that I could no longer fully attack.
"We simply lacked the experience we could have gained in the race on Saturday. In the end, 13th place was the maximum that was possible. Not a good weekend, but I am convinced that we will be strong at Hockenheim."
Team boss Osieka added: “We cannot be satisfied with this race weekend. We have nothing to reproach ourselves with. On Saturday we were unlucky because there was a backlog during the start procedure and Arjun was rudely involved in several collisions. Even if the disappointment was great, neither the team nor the drivers bury their heads in the sand.
"Our team made the Mercedes-AMG GT3 fit again overnight. For his part, Arjun was highly motivated in qualifying. The fact that we ultimately failed due to an inadequacy of the infrastructure of the racetrack fits into the picture. Now it's time to keep your head up and look ahead."
The Indian had a fighting two races in DTM's Red Bull Ring round.
[Image courtesy: GetSpeed]