DTM: Maini shows good pace in Round 2 at Lausitzring but misses on points
The Indian showed solid pace in practice and qualifying, but lost out a bit in the races.
Arjun Maini continued his DTM journey with GetSpeed Performance abode the #36 Mercedes-AMG GT3 machine in Round 2 at Lausitzring. He started off handsomely by topping the FP1 standings with a 1m31.882s lap, while he was fourth in FP2 with a 1m31.632s lap.
The Qualifying 1 saw his competitive run continue on Saturday, where he ended up sixth with a 1m30.756s lap. In fact, he was lead Mercedes driver to start Race 1. It didn't go as per plans though as there was contact on the opening lap with Timo Glock.
Maini had the inside line into left-hander but had a car on his left, as Glock tried to sneak through on his right when they touched. He dropped ground and then had a gravel moment too, before retiring due to a radiator issue, which got damaged in the collision.
“After a collision at the start, my radiator was damaged and the temperature went up," said Maini. "Since I wasn't in the points, we didn't want to risk anything. Tomorrow is a new day and then I will attack again fully."
Team boss Adam Osieka added: "Arjun had a difficult start to the race. After the start he was too hesitant and was then involved in a collision that ended his race prematurely. Tomorrow we will start the next attack on the points. The fast times in free practice and qualifying have shown that the pace is there and the setup is right."
It was looking good for him in Qualifying 2 as well, but a small error on his first lap saw him miss few tenths to be up in the Top 5. He ended up ninth, six tenths behind the pole-sitter. Maini remained in the Top 10 at the start of the second race on Sunday.
However, he had Alexander Albon on his tail for long as the two ensued in a battle after an early pit stop. The Thai got the better of him eventually as the Indian was then caught by late stoppers, who pushed him out of the Top 10 towards the end of the race.
He eventually had to settle with 12th just behind Albon, who was cleared by the late stoppers as well, thereby missing out on points. “That was a difficult race," said Maini. "I lost a few places at the start and then fought my way back to nine. In the end, however, I had to admit defeat to two Audi drivers who were using a different strategy with fresher tyres.
As a result, I fell out of the points again, but we were close. For us, the result is a bit disappointing overall and it doesn’t reflect what we are actually up to. The car had a good pace and the team did a good job. Since Monza, we have made a big step forward. However, the weekend as a whole was fun. It was good and hard racing. Now, we are looking forward to the weekend at Zolder.”
Team boss Osieka added: "It's a shame that Arjun didn't quite get the first points in the DTM. We reached P12 with only twelve seconds behind P1, which is unusually close and underlines our solid performance. We also completed the second best pit stop. These facts prove that the team worked very well again today. "
The Indian showed decent pace but was not enough for the Top 10.
[Image courtesy: Daimler Media AG]