DTM rookie Ferdinand Habsburg (AUT) turned his Misano race weekend around to end race two as the top-finishing Aston Martin DTM car and the fastest of the four R-Motorsport drivers.
The weekend didn’t start well for the #62 Aston Martin Vantage DTM car as a gearbox issue prevented the young Austrian from running in the first practice session. Not to be deterred, Habsburg, who had never driven a DTM car at Misano before, went out for FP2 and recorded a lap time within half a second of team-mate and former DTM champion Paul Di Resta (GBR).
On Saturday, all of the Aston Martin DTM cars struggled for pace and Habsburg qualified in P16. In the race, R-Motorsport took the bold decision to box on lap one. Although this pushed him up the ranks, it meant he had to make his new Hankooks last the entire race in high temperatures. While he did a fantastic job at managing his rubber, they eventually ‘fell off the cliff’ and, while he showed the potential for another points scoring position, he eventually crossed the line in P14.
Sunday was the day that Habsburg really shone. After starting from P18, his team implemented another good strategy, resulting in him leading the 60-minute race. He pushed the Aston Martin Vantage DTM car hard and ran faster than his team-mates. Despite struggling to keep the faster BMWs and Audis at bay, he impressed with his pace and driving style, challenging top drivers for positions, and crossed the line in P12.
“We may not have had the pace of the BMWs and Audis this weekend but it’s our first year with the Aston Martin Vantage DTM car, so we have to expect to be playing catch-up. All I can do is push as hard I can and use my team-mates as the benchmark. After a difficult start to the weekend, I’m happy to have been the top finishing R-Motorsport entry by the end of race two.”
“I’m feeling positive and enjoying learning how to get the most out of our DTM car. They are so much fun to drive but difficult to master. R-Motorsport are doing a fantastic job and I know we’ll be on the pace of the championship stalwarts really soon.”
The next round of the DTM championship takes place at the Norisring on 29-30 June.