Lausitz: Mercedes race report

Second Start, Second Win for Bernd Schneider Mika Häkkinen Third Ahead of Jamie Green and Bruno Spengler Bernd Schneider drove his Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class to victory in the second round of the 2006 DTM at the Lausitzring. Including his ...

Second Start, Second Win for Bernd Schneider
Mika Häkkinen Third Ahead of Jamie Green and Bruno Spengler

Bernd Schneider drove his Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class to victory in the second round of the 2006 DTM at the Lausitzring. Including his victories in the 2005 finale and in the season opener at Hockenheim three weeks ago, Schneider has now won three consecutive races and a total of 41 in his 202 DTM/ITC races.

Tom Kristensen (Audi) came home second ahead of Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes C-Class), Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class) and Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class). The top five were within 4.4 seconds.

Persson drivers Alexandros Margaritis (Easy Rent AMG-Mercedes C-Class) and Jean Alesi (stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class) ended up sixth and seventh respectively and scored again points with their 2005 C-Class cars. Schneider is the overall leader with 20 points ahead of Kristensen (16), Häkkinen (11) and Margaritis (7). 76,000 spectators attended the event during the weekend.

Starting second on the grid Mika Häkkinen accelerated fastest to the first corner and took the lead ahead of Mattias Ekström and Bernd Schneider. Polesitter Jamie Green made a mistake under braking into turn one and dropped to fourth.

Green made his first pit stop on lap seven, followed by Bruno Spengler who had improved from seventh on the grid to fifth. Häkkinen pitted as leader on lap 12 and resumed in seventh position whilst Schneider, who had attacked Ekström for several laps, came in next time round.

After the first round of pit stops on lap 19, Häkkinen regained the lead followed closely by Ekström and Schneider; the three were within about one second. Green was fourth, Spengler sixth, followed by Persson drivers Alexandros Margaritis and Jean Alesi.

Green, who had lost one position to Tom Kristensen, and Spengler made their second pit stops on lap 25, Schneider came in the next lap. Häkkinen pitted again on lap 30. He lost some seconds, because the left rear wheel nut was jammed. After the second round of pit stops, Schneider was in front ahead of Ekström and Kristensen. Häkkinen was fourth ahead of Green, Spengler, Margaritis and Alesi. The top six were within less than five seconds.

When Ekström retired at the beginning of the penultimate lap, Kristensen was behind Schneider. On the last lap Häkkinen overtook Green and finished third.

Bernd Schneider: winner

"A great race which was a lot of fun. I had to fight a lot to hold off Ekström. We had a very good strategy and executed our pit stops very fast. I thank everybody in my team. I dedicate this victory to my son Luca who became seven on his birthday on Friday."

Mika Häkkinen: third

"This was a tough weekend. We had a very good set-up, but unfortunately I lost time during my second pit stop. However, I finished on the podium like one year ago at this track."

Jamie Green: fourth

"It was a very exciting race for me. First I lost some places and I made an early pit stop that got me stuck in traffic. After that I was driving well and catching up. I'm very happy to score some points."

Bruno Spengler: fifth

"I started well and it was a thrilling race. Fifth is my best DTM finish so far. I hope this was my breakthrough."

Alexandros Margaritis: sixth

"A great race. I'm really happy to finish in the points again after Hockenheim. I thank everybody in the team for their efforts."

Jean Alesi: seventh

"An uneventful race for me. I'm glad to finish in the points like I did at Hockenheim. A fair result for me and our team."

Stefan Mücke: 12th

"I'm not satisfied with this result as we haven't been quick enough all weekend. We had a problem with the balance and I was just not able to achieve more."

Mathias Lauda: 14th

"I'm the best driver with a 2004 car which is not bad. My start was not so good, but afterwards I was able to keep up and my fastest lap took less than a second longer than the fastest lap of the race."

Susie Stoddart: 15th

"The race was fairly boring for me. I am a little disappointed and I know I have to work hard to be better at Oschersleben. Mathias was just better than me."

Daniel la Rosa: retired

"My car ran well and I made a good start. Unfortunately I had to come into the pits after 32 laps due to a steering problem. I was not able to resume."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Congratulations to Bernd Schneider and the HWA team on this victory. It was close, but Bernd was a cool fighter and had it under control. His team had the right strategy and executed it well Mika could open a gap at the beginning. Unfor tunately the jammed nut at the left rear wheel during his second pit stop cost him time."

"Both brands had a chance to win today, but with several cars on the same level of performance we were a bit better. Jamie Green had a good speed from pole position, however he was a little bit too impetuous when he passed Mika and this justified that both drivers changed positions again on the last lap as a compensation."

"Alexandros Margaritis's performance with the 2005 C-Class is remarkable and it proves that last year's cars are able to keep up with the front runners and care for variety. To win such a tough competition against the strong Audis is something really special -- well done guys and thank you to all team members of HWA, Persson and Mücke."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Stefan Mücke , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green