PROsport Racing throw away a Pole Position in protest at the Red Bull Ring

Sunday, September 05, 2021

We mentioned at the start of the weekend that German based team PROsport Racing needed to look for a little more consistency when it came to their DTM Trophy efforts with drivers Tim Heinemann and Mike David Ortmann as they arrived at the Red Bull Ring in Austria this weekend.

Yesterday – we thought that a bridge had indeed been crossed as the #19 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 of Heinemann claimed his seventh pole position of his series career with teammate Ortmann alongside in second just 0.054 of a second slower!

After another frantic start for yesterday’s race, saw both Aston’s attack the opening uphill corner together and indeed each other to some competitive degree, actions that forced the #19 car wide and ultimately passed the #1 car to assume the lead going up still into the next corner.

Whilst Ortmann made is exit in the lead, building a gap of around a second, Heinemann would become caught up in a battle with the series leaders that would slow him down and drop him to P3. As the laps ticked by, several cars were receiving time penalties for earlier transgressions (mainly track limits) from their proceeding laps.

Defending his lap from the chasing pack and never letting that reduce to less than half a second, Ortmann eventually took the chequered flag first but was then awarded a five second penalty for the track limit violation on the opening lap with little to no notice from Race Control. That penalty dropped him off the podium and down to P4 whilst Heinemann ultimately finished P6.

However (and according to Ortmann’s social media accounts), that five second penalty was then appealed by the team overnight and upheld meaning that he was again the winner but that was later changed to a ten second penalty for reasons not yet clear.

If that wasn’t infuriating enough for all, Ortmann’s first pole position qualifying time for Sunday’s race 2 was then squandered in protest as the car/driver/team again made another very public point by removing themselves from the grid – just like they did at the season opener at Monza after the #1 car was disqualified! 

That action was further compounded by the #1 car (which did start race 2) driving off circuit at the final corner of the lap and into retirement on only the second lap. There may have been steering damage to the car but whatever it was not obvious.

We love the PROsport Racing team for what they have achieved in series like the 24H Series and NLS Series with their Pro-Am customer base, but this action does not do them, the series or anyone else any favours. 

This kind of young petulant school child attitude from the team needs to stop – and now! There is a time and a place for active challenges against penalties - doing this is not either.

Photo credits – Prosport / Drivers

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