Thunder at the Norisring - Spengler surprises 147,000 fans A maiden win and a record crowd! Bruno Spengler is the winner of an action-packed and exciting DTM race at the Norisring. In front of an enthusiastic crowd, the 22-year old celebrated his...
Thunder at the Norisring - Spengler surprises 147,000 fans A maiden win and a record crowd! Bruno Spengler is the winner of an action-packed and exciting DTM race at the Norisring. In front of an enthusiastic crowd, the 22-year old celebrated his first-ever victory in a DTM race. "Winning here is a dream", the winner beamed.
The Canadian drove his AMG-Mercedes C-Class to the finish ahead of his team-mates, points leader Bernd Schneider and Mika Häkkinen. After an outstanding performance, Stefan Mücke finished fourth with a year-old car and thus completed the fourfold victory for Mercedes-Benz. Behind the quartet, nine Audi A4 DTMs came across the finish line. Best-placed Audi-driver was Dane Tom Kristensen in fifth place from Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider.
Just before the end of the race, there was some more tension for the eventual winner: following a severe collision between Mercedes-Benz-drivers Daniel La Rosa and Susie Stoddart, the safety car led the field from lap 59 till 63, which caused Spengler to lose his advantage.
There was also bad luck for Jamie Green, who had started from pole-position. The Brit had to retire after the 35th lap due to suspension problems after having clipped the wall coming out of the S-corner. Former F1-driver Jean Alesi, who started from a promising fourth place, retired early. Following contact with Christian Abt's Audi A4, the Frenchman had to park his damaged car in the pits after the first lap already.
At high temperatures, the DTM drivers staged an exciting and breathtaking race of 69 laps. 147,000 spectators came to visit the Norisring in Nuremberg this weekend. The fans celebrated a great party and equalled the record crowd of last year's season final at the Hockenheimring. The Norisring, also referred to as the German Monaco, is the only street circuit on the DTM calendar and with 2.3 kilometres, it is the second shortest track, only beaten by Brands Hatch.
After five rounds, Bruno Spengler moves up to third place in the championship standings and has overtaken Jamie Green. Bernd Schneider is the points leader with 38 points and is the only driver to score points in every round held so far this year. Second place is occupied by Audi-driver Kristensen (30 points) from Spengler (24). These drivers are also the only three to have their names written on the DTM winners' list of this year so far.
The sixth DTM race weekend will be taking place at the Nürburgring in the Eifel from August 18 till 20.
Bruno Spengler (winner, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes): "Celebrating my maiden DTM win here at the Norisring is just unbelievable. I am overjoyed. My last win is a long time ago, that was in 2002 in Formula Renault. Winning here today is a dream. The atmosphere at the Norisring is incredible and therefore, this race win almost means twice as much."
Bernd Schneider (2nd place, Vodafone AMG Mercedes): "Today's race wasn't easy. I am much more relaxed now that I have extended my championship lead, but I would be even more relaxed had I won here. But today, Bruno was just too strong. His maiden DTM victory is well deserved."
Mika Häkkinen (3rd place, AMG Mercedes): "We have staged a great show for the spectators. The result for Mercedes-Benz is fantastic. Today, we have shown what a team works like, although we had some hard, but fair fights among each other as well."
Tom Kristensen (5th place, Audi Sport Team Abt): Today, we didn't have the best position to start from and I have to say that we have limited the damage. I became involved in a collision right away and after that I was having problems with the brakes. The Norisring is not a typical circuit. Now we will be preparing for the Nürburgring even more, that circuit should be more favourable for us."
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport director Norbert Haug: "Locking out the podium is a dream result. It was a perfect weekend with good weather and great fans, during which we have done a good job. I am happy that Bruno Spengler has scored his first victory here and I hope it will be acknowledged that we have shown clean sport here. Team order is something that should only be used at the very last moment."
"At the same time, however, we have lost six cars here. Jamie's speed was impressive, but somehow, things never seem to be going his way. It is like bewitched. But I am confident that one day, he will break his duck, too. The performance by Jamie Green and Bruno Spengler shows that our junior policy is working out well. I am proud of these two. Fourth place for Stefan Mücke is also a strong performance."
Audi Motorsport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: "First of all, I have to say that Mercedes has done a great job here. They simply had the faster cars. We have tried to match the speed and drive with a little bit more aggressive strategy. We were faster than in qualifying and a fourth place would have been realistic, but nothing more."
"The cars of Tom Kristensen and Mattias Ekström were quite badly damaged and they had to fight with blunt weapons. There was a lot of action in the midfield. But that is usual at the Norisring that has some points where you are motivated to attack. The spectators still have seen an exciting race. Now, we can only look forward and we will catch up again."