One car easily in the top ten, one just outside the points: That's the result for KÜS Team Bernhard after Sunday's DTM race at the Red Bull Ring. Porsche contract driver Ayhancan Güven fought for seventh place in his 911 GT3 R with starting number 24 and collected nine championship points; in the sister car with starting number 75, his teammate Laurin Heinrich finished 16th, just missing out on the points by a hair's breadth.
The 25-year-old Ayhancan finished the 20-minute qualifying session, in which 25 of the 28 starters were within one second, in eighth place in the top ten. Laurin, Saturday's pole-setter, had to settle for 20th place on the grid after failing to get a free lap.
Both cars did well in the race. “Can” was able to quickly gain two positions and finished sixth and fought for fifth place. In the turbulent pit stop phase, in which many cars arrived for compulsory service almost simultaneously due to the threat of rain, Ayhancan lost a bit of ground, but was able to confidently defend his seventh place until the finish.
Laurin fought undauntedly in the back midfield with the urge to move forward. The 21-year-old Porsche contract driver was able to gain several positions in tough duels, but was not able to fully exploit his better pace. Ultimately, he narrowly missed out on a 16th place reward in the form of championship points.
#24 Ayhancan Güven: “The start from eighth place was very good, I was quickly sixth. The pace was okay, I was able to keep up with the guys at the front and fight for fifth place. Unfortunately, we lost a little bit of time during the pit stop and were then in seventh place. The rest of the race was actually easy, I managed the tires and went fast, everything went well. All in all, it was a strong race and seventh place is a good result at the Red Bull Ring. Thanks to the team for the good work.”
#75 Laurin Heinrich: “Yesterday I was very successful with pole position and second place in the race – I actually wanted to take this momentum with me today too. Unfortunately, I had a lot of traffic in qualifying and therefore didn't get the best lap. In the DTM, that means starting position 20. Things can go uphill and then downhill again very quickly. This is normal in the DTM, as a newcomer I have to get used to it, but I can learn the most in such situations. I knew that my pace was very good for Saturday, even better than the cars in front of me. So I had big plans for the race and was able to move up a few positions at the start. In the end it was enough for 16th place, just missing the points, which is of course a bit disappointing. But I’ll take the positive memories of this weekend with me and look forward to the season finale in Hockenheim.”
Team boss Timo Bernhard: “Today it was a bit divided. Can had a solid qualifying and race finish with seventh place. I think P6 was possible, unfortunately we had a bit of a traffic jam in the pit lane, so Can lost a bit of time parking. Our timing wasn't quite optimal, but overall the strategy in the race was good. Unfortunately for Laurin this morning, qualifying wasn't ideal. He could have driven much faster in the race, but he was stuck in traffic the whole time. All in all, it was a solid racing weekend with important championship points and the podium on Saturday. We want to take this momentum with us to the finale. I definitely want another podium at Hockenheim. Maybe a little more.”
Text: Peter Schäffner
Photos: Group C Photography (high-resolution images are listed in the Team75 Motorsport press portal. Access data available at firstname.lastname@example.org)