Motorsport: Kiwi driver Liam Lawson denied German DTM championship title in heartbreaking final race

Kiwi driver Liam Lawson has had to settle for second place in the German DTM championship, missing out on the title in heartbreaking fashion at Nuremberg.

Sitting on top of the drivers standings after Sunday's penultimate race, Lawson, 19, took pole position for the championship finale and was on course to become the event's youngest winner, needing a top-six finish to secure the title.

But on the opening lap, AF Corse driver Lawson was hit by South African rival Kelvin van der Linde, damaging his car and relegating him to and 18th-place finish.

Despite the Kiwi recovering to put himself within touching distance of the title, Mercedes team orders saw Maximillian Götz of Team HRT advance into a position that saw him win the race and finish with enough points to pip Lawson.

"I'm obviously very disappointed and gutted for my whole team," Lawson says. "They really deserved this title.

"To be taken out by the same guy over and over again says it all. Turn one, lap one of the race - what can you say? 

"I just feel bad for my whole team."

Götz claimed the title by three points, while Lawson was left as the runner-up. The only consolation for Lawson came on Sunday, when his AF Corse outfit won the team championship title with one race to spare.

Lawson finished the DTM season - his first in the competition - with three wins and 10 podium finishes. 

His success in the DTM Championship, as well as in Formula Two with Hitech Grand Prix, has seen Lawson earn a test drive with Formula One side AlphaTauri at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix later this year.

Fellow Kiwi Nick Cassidy finished the final race in 13th place, stepping in to fill the shoes of Lawson's teammate Alex Albon, now a Formula One reserve driver for Red Bull.