A heart-stopping finale: BMW driver Bruno Spengler is the 2012 DTM champion

Hockenheim. Bruno Spengler crowns a perfect season for DTM returnee BMW. In the final race of the year, the 29-year old Canadian beat his opponent Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), who had been leading the drivers’ standings since the season opener, but had to make do with second place in the finale. After 42 laps, Spengler crossed the finish line at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg as the happy winner and the 2012 DTM champion. “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it,” he shouted into his radio, and then sung out loud: “We are the champions”. Having got out of his BMW M3 DTM, Spengler described his feelings: “This is a sensational day and a perfect season. My team is great, and I thank everybody who has supported me. Now, it is time to celebrate, a great day.”

Podium: race winner and 2012 champion Bruno Spengler, BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M3 DTM
Podium: race winner and 2012 champion Bruno Spengler, BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M3 DTM

Photo by: xpb.cc

Gary Paffett lost against Spengler at the start, but moved up into second place at the first pit stop and put the BMW driver under massive pressure over many laps. However, he didn’t manage to overtake. Eventually, he was 2.2 seconds down on Spengler. “The entire year has been very good and I was in the lead of the points’ standings. Still losing it is tragic. I haven’t made any mistakes throughout the season, and at the finale, of all things, I make a mistake. I am very disappointed,” said Paffett, who was annoyed about the missed opportunity to become DTM champion for the second time after 2005.

Spengler’s fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus from Brazil, who had started from pole position, finished third from Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz), who ended up third in the final drivers’ standings. In sixth position, Italian Edoardo Mortara was the best-placed Audi driver in the 2012 DTM finale. “This was one of the toughest and most demanding races of my career. I am happy that the Team Rosberg managed to end the season as the best Audi team with this result,” said Mortara. In the overall standings, Mike Rockenfeller is fourth as the best-placed Audi driver. Susie Wolff (Mercedes-Benz) bowed out of the DTM with a 13th place. Her compatriot and fellow Mercedes-Benz driver David Coulthard retired from his final DTM race.

The results in the manufacturers’ standings also reflect the strong performance by BMW in its maiden season. Here, the Bavarians won from Audi and Mercedes-Benz. 128,000 spectators attended the weekend of the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg.

The 2012 DTM champion impressed this season with a high level of consistency. In total, Bruno Spengler won four races and scored points in another four races. The Canadian failed to score twice.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “What Bruno has achieved, is unique. We just have a great team. The guys have developed a good car. As newcomers, we knew, that we still had to improve at the beginning, and that is what we did. I am very proud of this crew. I also would like to mention everyone involved in the development of the new regulations of the DTM. They have done a tremendous job. The DTM was thrilling as never before and the spectators and the fans are the real winners.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “A great finale with a fantastic battle between the title candidates Spengler and Paffett - eventually, two seconds were decisive. Congratulations to Bruno and BMW for winning the title. Unfortunately, we have lost points somewhere else. But I believe that Bruno was quite nervous when Gary came up from behind at high speed. We have shown that we are capable of winning.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Congratulations to Bruno Spengler and BMW. In the DTM, everything has to be spot-on when you want to win. And sometimes, you need a little bit of luck, too. We didn’t have that this weekend. We will work even harder during the winter to bring the championship back to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm next year.”

Source: DTM

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers David Coulthard , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Augusto Farfus , Gary Paffett , Susie Wolff , Mike Rockenfeller , Jamie Green , Edoardo Mortara
Teams BMW Team Schnitzer
Article type Race report
Tags bwm, campion, dtm, farfus, hockenheim, paffett, spengler