Last weekend, seven DTM drivers contested the season opener of the American IMSA series – with different results. While Loïc Duval, Paul Di Resta and Mike Rockenfeller secured very good results, the others – particularly reigning DTM Champion René Rast – had to cope with major doses of bad luck, in the legendary endurance race. In the end, Cadillac celebrated a superior one-two, with Joao Barbosa, ex-DTM driver Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi taking the chequered flag as overall winners.
Meanwhile, Audi driver Duval, Jonathan Bennett, Colin Braun and Romain Dumas surprised by taking their Oreca LMP2 to third place. Despite ongoing clutch problems, Mercedes driver Di Resta and his team-mates Will Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Bruno Senna Rang finished fourth in their Ligier LMP2. Meanwhile, Audi’s René Rast had to settle for finishing 47th in the overall ranking. In the penultimate hour of the race, the Team Joest Mazda DPi had to be retired due to electronics problems.
Mike Rockenfeller, however, secured a podium in the GTLM category – in a Corvette C7.R and together with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. In this class, Ford secured a one-two. The maiden appearance of the BMW M8 GTE also may be regarded as successful: at the ‘Daytona International Speedway’, DTM driver Augusto Farfus, Jesse Krohn, John Edwards and Nick Catsburg finished seventh in the GTLM category. Two positions behind them, DTM rookie Philipp Eng, Alexander Sims, Connor De Phillippi and Bill Auberlen came ninth in the second BMW M8 GTE. While Maro Engel, Thomas Jäger, Kenny Habul and Mikael Grenier took a Mercedes-AMG GT3 to eighth place in the GTD class.