Nurburgring: Mercedes-Benz Teams race report

Bruno Spengler Second, Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars among the top-seven Spengler reduces gap behind leader Ekstrom and decreases weight Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished second in the eighth round of...

Bruno Spengler Second, Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars among the top-seven

Spengler reduces gap behind leader Ekstrom and decreases weight

Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished second in the eighth round of the 2007 DTM at the Nurburgring and was the best Mercedes-Benz C-Class driver. After 43 laps, the Canadian came home 6.217sec behind winner Martin Tomczyk (Audi).

Jamie Green (2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up fifth ahead of Paul di Resta (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Bernd Schneider (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class). Mika Hakkinen (2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished 10th.

The results of the other Mercedes-Benz drivers: Mathias Lauda (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home 11th ahead of Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), Alexandros Margaritis (2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Daniel la Rosa (2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class). Susie Stoddart (2005 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) crossed the line 18th following a drive-through penalty.

After eight out of 10 races, Bruno Spengler is third overall with 34 points, Mattias Ekstrom leads with 44 points ahead of Tomczyk with 40 points. Bernd Schneider is third on 27.5 points. A driver can score the maximum of 20 points in the remaining two races of the championship.

A crowd of 117,000 attended the 2007 DTM season's eighth race at the Nurburgring.

The start: Bruno Spengler and Bernd Schneider, fourth and fifth on the grid, kept their positions. Paul di Resta overtook Jamie Green and was sixth. Daniel la Rosa, who had qualified ninth, improved to eighth while Mika Hakkinen dropped to 10th. Following a start incident between Audi drivers Markus Winkelhock und Mike Rockenfeller at the end of the field, the safety car was deployed for two laps.

Lap 6: Bernd Schneider, Daniel la Rosa and Mika Hakkinen came in for their respective first pit stops.

Lap 7: Bruno Spengler overtook Kristensen at the end of the front straight and immediately opened a gap ahead of the Danish driver. Following Scheider's pit stop, Bruno was now second. Paul di Resta made his first pit stop.

Lap 11: Mathias Lauda came in for the first time, Bernd Schneider pitted the second time.

Lap 13: Gary Paffett completed his second pit stop, followed by Paul di Resta and Daniel la Rosa one lap later.

Lap 16: Bruno Spengler maintained second place behind Tomczyk whilst Jamie Green was third. Mika Hakkinen came in for his second stop.

Lap 17: Jamie Green's first stop. Alexandros Margaritis followed one lap later. The Greek-German driver made his second stop only one lap later.

Lap 20: First pit stop of Bruno Spengler; Jamie Green came in for the second time next time round.

Lap 22: Bruno Spengler posted the fastest lap of the race with 1min24.529.

Lap 24: Bernd Schneider was fighting with Rockenfeller when Paul di Resta and Jamie Green took advantage of the situation and overtook their team mate.

Lap 25: Susie Stoddart is the only driver in the field who did not pit yet. She made her first stop one lap later. At the pit lane exit, she crossed the white line and therefore received a drive-through penalty. At the front, Bruno Spengler was second between Tomczyk and Ekstrom.

Lap 28: Bernd Schneider maintained his eighth place against charging Kristensen. One lap later, Susie Stoddart came in for her drive-through penalty.

Lap 30: Bruno Spengler made his second pit stop. Two laps later, Mathias Lauda pitted for the second time.

Lap 35: The top-ten drivers all had completed their respective two pit stops. Bruno Spengler was second behind Tomczyk. Green was fourth; however, he was overtaken by Ekstrom one lap later. Paul di Resta and Bernd Schneider followed in positions six and seven respectively.

Finish (lap 43): Bruno Spengler finished second, 6.217sec behind Tomczyk. Jamie Green (fifth), Paul di Resta (sixth) and Bernd Schneider (seventh) also scored points.

Bruno Spengler, 2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class, second:

"In the beginning I got stuck behind Kristensen and lost some time, but after I had passed him I had a fine race and I am happy with second place. I thank my team; they gave me a great car and had the perfect strategy so that I was able to race without traffic most of the time. I am now ten points behind leader Ekstrom and in the next race in Barcelona, we will have the same weight as the Audis, so everything is possible. I will give it my all until the season finale in Hockenheim."

Jamie Green, 2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class, fifth:

"The race was not bad - I started sixth and came home fifth. However, I had a chance for a podium finish, but I missed it due to fading tyres, which allowed Ekstrom to pass me. Therefore I am not satisfied."

Paul di Resta, 2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class, sixth:

"My speed was not so good today, but at the moment I don't know why. Anyway, sixth place is not too bad."

Bernd Schneider, 2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class, seventh:

"I started well and found a good rhythm. With my second set of tyres, the car's handling suffered. It's a shame; therefore no better result was possible today."

Mika Hakkinen, 2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class, 10th:

"This was not the result I had expected, but I will put this 10th place behind me and look ahead. In the remaining two races I will work hard to keep the championship open for Mercedes-Benz and the new C-Class."

Mathias Lauda, 2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class, 11th:

"I am really happy. This was my best race in the DTM so far. In the end, I was even a little bit faster than Mika Hakkinen, but I was not able to overtake him."

Gary Paffett, 2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class, 12th:

"I had a poor start and then I suffered from understeer later on. Our team worked really hard all weekend, but we have to increase our efforts to significantly improve the car's handling until the next race."

Alexandros Margaritis, 2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class, 13th:

"I started 18th and finished 13th which is not too bad. Following my early pit stops on laps 17 and 18, I drove 25 laps with one set of tyres what made it very difficult in the end."

Daniel la Rosa, 2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class, 14th:

"Unfortunately, during my first pit stop we had a problem with the hydraulic air jack. In the end I had not enough grip and it was not easy to keep the car on the track."

Susie Stoddart, 2005 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class, 18th:

"My start was not really good and I lost some positions. The drive-through penalty due to crossing the white line finally destroyed my race. After my good performance in yesterday's qualifying, I had expected more and now I am very disappointed."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Bruno drove a good race and with his second place, we carried out our plan, reduced the gap behind the top a little bit and reduced weight. Several points, more than the ones Bruno is now missing, we lost already in races one and two by a sports penalty and a technical problem, which was very unusual for the HWA team. Since the third race at the Lausitzring, no other driver in the field has scored more points than Bruno, and this despite the fact that the points at the Eurospeedway race have been halved. In Barcelona in three weeks time, we will finally run the new C-Class without handicap and with the same weight as our competition. In the two final races our points score will not really be at its best, but we will not be without chances. Audi is in the role of the favourite now, but we are also not afraid of difficult challenges."

-credit: daimlerchrysler.com

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mike Rockenfeller , Markus Winkelhock , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green