Barcelona: Mercedes race report

Barcelona: Mercedes race report
Dec 10, 2006, 4:20 AM

Bernd Schneider Second and Remains Overall Leader Bruno Spengler fifth from 19th on the grid Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class) finished the eighth round of the 2006 DTM at Barcelona in second place. After 58 exciting laps, he came ...

Bernd Schneider Second and Remains Overall Leader
Bruno Spengler fifth from 19th on the grid

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class) finished the eighth round of the 2006 DTM at Barcelona in second place. After 58 exciting laps, he came home 2.898sec behind winner Martin Tomczyk (Audi). Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class) started 19th and second-to-last and ended up fifth. Daniel la Rosa (TrekStor AMG-Mercedes C-Class) came home seventh achieving his first ever DTM points whilst Alexandros Margaritis (EasyRent AMG-Mercedes C-Class) finished eighth.

Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes C-Class) came home 11th after he had been hit by another car without his own fault. Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class) retired with a severely damaged car after he had been involved in a collision after the start, also without his own fault. After his fourth consecutive second place, Schneider has now 62 points and extended his overall lead to 18 points ahead Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM/44 points), who was ninth today. Spengler is third with 43 points. 42,000 spectators attended the DTM debut in Spain during the weekend.

Schneider started fourth and maintained this position on the opening lap whilst Häkkinen dropped from fifth to sixth. Green was involved in a collision after the start without own fault; he came into the pits and retired. Spengler who started 19th tangled with Stefan Mücke; the Canadian resumed 13th whilst Mücke was 17th. The Safety Car was deployed until the end of lap five.

After the re-start, Schneider overtook Kristensen and improved to third. One lap later, Timo Scheider (Audi) who was battling with Jean Alesi hit Häkkinen and the Finn dropped to 14th. Schneider was now less than a second behind Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Audi); on lap 10 Schneider passed and was second. The next Mercedes-Benz driver was Alexandros Margartitis in seventh position ahead of Alesi, Daniel la Rosa, Mathias Lauda and Mücke.

On lap 12, Spengler came into the pits for his first stop. Margaritis pitted on lap 21; Schneider followed one lap later. On lap 26, Spengler made his second stop whilst Häkkinen pitted for the first time two laps later.

On lap 34, Schneider was overtaken by Mattias Ekström (Audi) and made his second pitstop immediately afterwards. Häkkinen came in for his second stop on lap 38.

On lap 39, Ekström hit Schneider from behind and consequently received a drive-through penalty. On lap 46, all drivers had completed their pitstops; Schneider was now second behind Tomczyk, Spengler was fourth and Margaritis seventh.

Schneider closed the gap behind Tomczyk; however, he made a short off and slid into the gravel briefly on lap 54. Schneider eventually finished second 2.898sec behind Tomczyk. It was the fourth consecutive second place for Schneider who had won the first two races of the season. He is the only driver this year who has scored points in every race; his lowest result was fifth at Oschersleben.

Spengler was passed by Eksröm on lap 56 and ended up fifth. La Rosa who came from 17th on the grid finished seventh and achieved his first two DTM points. Margaritis came home eighth.

Häkkinen ended up 11th ahead of Mücke and Lauda. Alesi received a drive-through penalty because of a collision with Scheider. He served it on lap 23 and eventually came home 14th ahead of Susie Stoddart.

Bernd Schneider: "I started well, but after being hit by Tom Kristensen, my car was severely damaged at the rear and I struggled with oversteer. During my second pitstop, my team reacted well and changed the tyre pressure, which reduced the problem a bit. I had never expected to post the fastest lap of the race with this car. I am Happy about by second place which means an important step for me."

Bruno Spengler: "I was quick off the line; however, during the messy opening laps it was difficult to find a clean line. Afterwards everything ran well and our strategy and pitstops were perfect. I thank everybody in my team; without all their efforts it would not been possible to improve from 19th to fifth."

Daniel la Rosa: "Starting 17th on the gird I had not hoped for such a good result. I had aimed for one point and now I am even happier to score two. I thank everybody in my team."

Alexandros Margaritis: "With only one dry practice it was difficult for me to adapt to today's conditions. In addition, our set-up was not perfect. After about 12 laps in every stint, my rear tyres faded significantly. In the end I only fought to maintain eighth place and one point."

Mika Häkkinen: "I think in this race I had a chance to definitely finish on the podium; however some aggressive overtaking manoeuvres from other drivers cost me this opportunity. I was pushed into a spin and my car's aerodynamics were damaged so severely that I was not able to attack any more. It's a shame because I wanted to reward my team with a good result for their good job this weekend; it is definitely my target to do this in the final two races of the year."

Stefan Mücke: "Unfortunately the weekend ended as disappointingly as it had started. I was pushed into a spin in the mayhem after the start; afterwards I was last, lost a lot of time and was not able to achieve a better result."

Mathias Lauda: "I am happy with my result. The start was OK, but then I lacked grip during the first couple of laps. Afterwards the race was great; I was able to push throughout and after 58 laps, I came home six seconds shy from a points position."

Jean Alesi: "My car ran really well and our team did a great job to adapt to the new conditions today. Unfortunately, after my drive-through penalty I had no chance for a better result."

Susie Stoddart: "I am disappointed, because I didn't have the speed to improve from last place. We will now work hard to end the season with better results."

Jamie Green: "I started well and moved up one position. When I braked for the hairpin, I saw in the mirror some cars at my left, which were too fast. I tried to avoid them, but I was hit and my car was damaged too badly at the driver's side, so I had to retire."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "A great achievement from Bernd Schneider who fought his way from fourth on the grid to second after a difficult qualifying, despite his handicap with damaged aerodynamics at the rear, after he had been hit first by Kristensen and then by Ekström. With this result, Bernd extended his lead in the championship. Starting 19th, Bruno Spengler's fifth place is remarkable; his team worked excellently with the right strategy and perfect pitstops. Congratulations to Abt-Audi on their first place and on Martin Tomczyk to his first DTM victory."

"Daniel la Rosa and Alexandros Margaritis showed a good performance and came home seventh and eighth respectively, so that four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars were among the eight points positions. At the finish, all eighth were within less than 19 seconds; in a 58-lap race, this difference means about three tenths of a second per lap and reflects the high competitiveness of the DTM. It is a shame for Jamie Green and Mika Häkkinen who were involved in accidents without their own faults. The DTM debut in Barcelona was a success. The many spectators at the circuit saw an exciting race and it was impressive how enthusiastically they supported the DTM."

Bernd Schneider
Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006

Bruno Spengler
DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006

Daniel la Rosa
TrekStor AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005

Alexandros Margaritis
Easy Rent AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005

Mika Häkkinen
AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006

Stefan Mücke
TV-Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005

Mathias Lauda
Second Hand AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2004

Jean Alesi
stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005

Susie Stoddart
AutoScout24 AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2004

Jamie Green
Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006
Retired due to a collision after the start without his own fault

-credit: mercedes

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