Luca Stolz (GER) finished in the points again in the final race of the 2022 DTM season at the Hockenheimring. Ninth place in Sunday’s race was enough to secure sixth place in both the Driver and Team championships for himself and Mercedes-AMG Team HRT. Arjun Maini (IND) was unable to start on the final day, following a collision in the Saturday race.
The DTM race on Saturday was characterised by many crashes, some of them big ones, and retirements. Luca Stolz, who lined up with handicap weight following his second place at the Red Bull Ring, held his own well despite all the turmoil. He came home ninth in the blue and yellow #4 Bilstein Mercedes-AMG GT3. His team-mate Arjun Maini was less fortunate: the #36 car in the colours of PAUL crashed out on the opening lap following contact with a rival car. The extend of the damage meant Maini was unable to start Sunday’s race.
When qualifying on Sunday was red-flagged shortly before the end of the session, Stolz was forced to abort his flying lap and settle for 13th place on the grid. He then endured a tough start to the race, during which the #4 was spun by another car and dropped to the back of the field. Stolz launched a fightback and showed impressive pace. A fast pit stop allowed the HRT team to gain more ground and helped Stolz climb into P9. Despite being consistently quick, the German was unable to make up any more positions in the remaining time. As such, the man from Brachbach ended the race weekend with two ninth places and the DTM season in sixth place in both the Driver and Team championships. This result made HRT the second-best Mercedes-AMG team and was instrumental in the performance and sports car manufacturer from Affalterbach finishing runner-up in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Arjun Maini ended the season in 19th place overall.
Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4: “The final weekend was difficult for us. We tried our hardest, had very fast pit stops, but ultimately had to settle for two ninth places. That means P6 in the championship – but we are really not that far off the top of the table. On the whole, I think we can be quite happy, as we are the second-best Mercedes-AMG team and have had a few really good races. If I get another opportunity next year, I would obviously like to go on the offensive here and challenge for the title.”
Arjun Maini, Mercedes-AMG GT3 #36: “It is a bit disappointing in the end, but there have also been a lot of positives. I believe that our pace and performances were not rewarded with the results that the team and I deserved. It was definitely a great learning experience for me all year. I have improved over the course of the season – especially in terms of pace. I have grown with HRT, feel at home in the team, and really hope that we can build on this.”
Ulrich Fritz, CEO Haupt Racing Team: “A DTM season with highs and lows draws to a close. We have repeatedly shown what a high level the team can perform at. On average, we had the fastest pit stops in the entire field, which is evidence of how hard our team works. However, the DTM is a tough series, in which everything must come together if you are to be successful. Luca and Arjun have shown that they have the quality to challenge at the very front in this championship. We will look back fondly on the home victory at the Nürburgring and the other podiums. We have a very good basis, on which we can build. I would like to thank the team and both drivers for the outstanding team spirit. The first day after the season is the first day of the new season for us – a season, for which we will again prepare meticulously, in order to be able to push hard again.”
HRT stands for HAUPT RACING TEAM. The motorsport team was formed in July 2020 by racing driver and businessman Hubert Haupt and has established itself as a big name in international GT3 racing within a very short space of time. For example, HRT won the Drivers’ Championship in the DTM in only its second season of motorsport. In 2022, the team starts in the DTM, the Nürburgring Endurance Series, the Endurance Cup in the GT World Challenge Europe, and the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps – in some cases with works support from Mercedes-AMG. The headquarters of Haupt Racing Team GmbH are in Grünwald near Munich, while the HRT Race Base is located on the Meuspath industrial estate, right next to the Nürburgring. HRT is also involved in professional sim racing and is a sought-after partner for technical development projects and motorsport events of all kinds. www.hauptracingteam.de/en