Hockenheimring: Mercedes-Benz race report

Paul Di Resta Fifth * 2008 DTM runner-up Paul Di Resta finished the 2009 DTM season opener at Hockenheim in fifth place and was the best C-Class driver. The race win went to Tom Kristensen (Audi). * Behind Paul Di Resta, Maro Engel (GQ AMG ...

Paul Di Resta Fifth

* 2008 DTM runner-up Paul Di Resta finished the 2009 DTM season opener at Hockenheim in fifth place and was the best C-Class driver. The race win went to Tom Kristensen (Audi).

* Behind Paul Di Resta, Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up sixth. Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home eighth ahead of Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) who finished ninth despite an extra pit stop on the opening lap, and Mathias Lauda (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class).

* Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) retired on the first lap after he had lost his bonnet due to a coming-together with Alexandre Premat (Audi). Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) retired on lap 24 as a consequence of a first-lap incident as well as Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) who stopped on the same lap for the same reason.

* A total of 91,000 spectators attended the 2009 DTM seasonal opener at Hockenheim during the weekend.

The start: Paul Di Resta improved from sixth on the grid to fifth after the opening lap. Maro Engel was seventh ahead of Bruno Spengler. Gary Paffett had a coming-together with Alexandre Premat (Audi) and lost his bonnet; he retired. The bonnet hit Ralf Schumacher's roof and he pitted for repairs and resumed in last place. The Safety Car was deployed until the track was cleaned.

Lap 3: Re-Start. Susie Stoddart was 10th ahead of Jamie Green and LaMathias uda. Ralf Schumacher followed in 17th place.

Lap 5: Bruno Spengler overtook Maro Engel for seventh place.

Lap 7: Drive-through penalty fur Mathias Lauda because of a jump start.

Lap 9: Bruno Spengler came in for his first pit stop.

Lap 10: Paul Di Resta pitted for the first time. Mathias Lauda and Susie Stoddart completed their first pit stops. Maro Engel and Jamie Green came in one lap later.

Lap 14: Mathias Lauda pitted again to replace a damaged tyre. After all drivers had completed their respective first mandatory stops, Paul Di Resta was fifth ahead of Bruno Spengler. Maro Engel followed in ninth place ahead of Jamie Green.

Lap 17: Second stop of Paul Di Resta. Two laps later, also Bruno Spengler pitted again as well as Jamie Green.

Lap 20: Maro Engel completed his second pit stop. Ralf Schumacher came in one lap later.

Lap 24: Bruno Spengler, now in fifth place, had to pit a third time because his right rear tyre was damaged in a collision; he retired.

Lap 27: All drivers had completed their mandatory pit stops. Paul Di Resta was the best C-Class driver in sixth place; Maro Engel was seventh ahead of Jamie Green, Ralf Schumacher and Mathias Lauda.

Finish (lap 39): After Mattias Ekstrom had to pit due to a damaged tyre, Paul di Resta came home fifth ahead of Maro Engel. Jamie Green crossed the finish line eighth followed by Ralf Schumacher and Mathias Lauda.

Paul Di Resta (2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class), fifth: "A difficult race; I had hoped for more than fifth place. At least, I scored four points. We will now work hard to achieve a better result at the Lausitzring in two weeks time."

Maro Engel (2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class), sixth: "I am really happy - by finishing sixth today I scored my first DTM points. I thank my team for a great job and a perfect car. Unfortunately, Martin Tomczyk hit me twice within three laps, as a consequence of the damages I lost time."

Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), eighth: "I had several contacts during the opening lap and my C-Class was damaged. First I thought I had to retire; however, the car continued and I was able to finish the race. In these circumstances, I am still satisfied with that one point for eighth place."

Ralf Schumacher (2009 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), ninth: "I made a decent start. Gary's flying bonnet damaged my car and I am happy that the guys were able to fix the damages. I really wanted to continue to see what the car is capable of and my race was quite OK. Finishing ninth despite the lengthy pit stop at the beginning is not too bad."

Mathias Lauda (2008 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 10th: "It's a shame -- points were in reach today. At the start I made a short move but stopped again immediately, so I didn't gain any advantage; however, I received a drive-through penalty, that's what the rules say. In addition, I suffered from a damaged tyre later. So I had to pit four times and finished 10th -- that's not too bad."

Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), retired as a consequence of a first-lap incident: „After a coming-together on the opening lap, the car pulled to the left under braking. First, this was not a big deal, and I was even able to charge through from 19th on the grid to fifth place. However, the problem became worse in the course of the race and finally I had to retire."

Susie Stoddart (2008 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), retired due to a damaged car: "I improved to 10th on the opening lap, but my car was damaged by debris on the track. As a consequence I became slower and slower until I had to stop."

Gary Paffett (2009 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) retired on the opening lap after a collision: "I started well; however, when we fought for positions at the hairpin I touched Alexandre Premat. Sorry, that was my fault."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "The only thing we will commemorate positively from the new season's first DTM race is how Bruno Spengler who unfortunately had been relegated wrongly to the last row on the grid in qualifying charged through the field to fifth place within a few laps; he also looked good with his best lap time and his pace. Unfortunately, a competitor had hit hard his right rear wheel on the opening lap and as a consequence of this damage Bruno had to retire later. A weekend when nothing was possible for us and nothing was in line. This is why we have to improve, already in 14 days at the Lausitzring; here, Audi was clearly better -- therefore congratulations to our competitors on their one-to-four victory."

-credit: mb

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Tom Kristensen , Martin Tomczyk , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandre Prémat , Mathias Lauda , Maro Engel , Jamie Green