DTM ... Cassidy Shines at Spielberg


 

Spielberg, 24th September, 2022

Nick Cassidy climbed the top step of the podium in Race-1 at the Red Bull Ring in the penultimate round of the DTM championship. Setting off from pole in his number 37 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse, the New Zealander led for the entire fifty-five minutes. Teammate Felipe Fraga was unlucky, forced to retire after two laps following a collision that led to a puncture. This was Cassidy’s second career victory in the German series, giving the 488 GT3 (in all its versions) its five-hundredth win. It was also the second in succession after his triumph a fortnight ago at Spa-Francorchamps.

The race 1
Cassidy made an excellent start. The Kiwi gained precious metres on the competition from the very first corners, thus avoiding the traffic. However, Fraga was considerably less fortunate. After a good start from the fifth row, which saw him take third place on the first lap, the Brazilian was rear-ended at the Remus Kurve, suffering a puncture to his left rear tyre. The twenty-seven-year-old was forced to drop out despite pitting for a tyre change.

The strategy
The Race-1 script saw the New Zealander set the pace. He exploited the speed and traction of his blue-and-white liveried 488 GT3 Evo 2020, extending his lead to over two seconds. Cassidy pitted with fifteen minutes left for the compulsory stop, which the team completed perfectly. Thus the twenty-eight-year-old driver went back on track first, ahead of the Audi of René Rast. The German, who had anticipated the stop by two laps, crossed the chequered flag 2.573 seconds behind in second.

Post Race Comments

Nick Cassidy
This has been an incredible day. I had a fantastic car, and although it was tough, I successfully managed the tyres and controlled the race. To have secured two wins in a row in the DTM is something incredible, for which I thank the team very much”.

Felipe Fraga
I was rear-ended again, while I have never collided with an opponent in this series. It’s really a shame. It’s obvious that Feller was slowing down on the straight to let his teammate Rast pass, and so I tried to take advantage of that by overtaking them both under braking. However, coming out of the corner, Feller kept hitting my wheel instead of going wide, as Rast was in the way, so my race was wrecked.

 

1

37

Ferrari

 

Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse

Nick Cassidy

53:20.316

21 Laps

8

74

Ferrari

 

Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse

Felipe Fraga

+ 6.565

21 Laps

Race 2

Front row
Expectations were somewhat different for the Piacenza-based team’s cars following Cassidy’s two consecutive wins and the morning’s qualifying. The New Zealander set off from second place on the grid and the Brazilian third. The race started with a rather wet track and the entire line-up on rain tyres. Cassidy maintained second position but could not match the pace of Maro Engel, who slowly but steadily built up a small gap over the number 37 driver. Meanwhile, Fraga was in the slipstream of Philipp Eng, who, in turn, was chasing Cassidy. The Brazilian tried to overtake the BMW driver but ended up with two wheels in the gravel after rounding several corners side-by-side. He lost positions and fell further behind after a subsequent spin.

Dry lines
Cassidy tried to stay ahead of the game, coming in to change tyres on lap 13, while Fraga made the obligatory stop eleven laps later. In between, the track gradually dried, so much so that Fraga, and others, opted for slicks. Cassidy battled tenaciously as it became harder to keep the rains in good condition on a ribbon of asphalt, with the dry lines becoming increasingly defined. However, the Kiwi was forced back down the standings, also overtaken by his teammate, who spun again after the stop. Thomas Preining was first past the chequered flag in a Porsche, with Fraga sixteenth and Cassidy nineteenth.

 

16

74

Ferrari

 

Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse

Felipe Fraga

+ 37.873

35 Laps

19

37

Ferrari

 

Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse

Nick Cassidy

+ 43.669

35 Laps

 

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