Nurburgring: Mercedes race report

Clean Sweep for Bruno Spengler Bernd Schneider finishes second and extends overall lead Jean Alesi fourth with the 2005 stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class) won the sixth round of the 2006 DTM at...

Clean Sweep for Bruno Spengler
Bernd Schneider finishes second and extends overall lead
Jean Alesi fourth with the 2005 stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class

Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class) won the sixth round of the 2006 DTM at the Nürburgring and achieved his second consecutive victory in the championship. Starting from his first DTM pole position, Spengler led throughout the race, posted the fastest lap and finished 10.7sec ahead of Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class).

Jean Alesi drove the 2005 stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class to fourth place whilst Jamie Green ended up ninth. Due to an extra pit stop Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes C-Class) finished 12th. Schneider extended his overall lead after six out of ten races to 46 points ahead of Spengler and Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM), both with 34 points. 116,000 spectators attended the event during the weekend.

Starting in the rain, Spengler accelerated into an immediate lead from his first DTM pole position. Schneider, third on the grid ahead of Green, took second place, the Englishman followed in third position. Alesi started 15th and charged through the field to fifth on lap 16. One lap later, the Frenchman passed Kristensen and improved to fourth.

At the front, meanwhile Spengler was the fastest driver of the field and opened a gap of 17.2sec until lap 18 when he pitted for the first time. Schneider and Alesi made their stops at the same time and Spengler resumed in first place.

Häkkinen started ninth and dropped to 11th in the opening stage. However, he fought back and after he had overtaken Christian Abt (Audi A4 DTM) in the last corner of lap 12 Häkkinen was eighth. On lap 19, he came in for his first pit stop.

After the first round of pit stops on lap 21, Spengler held the lead with 15sec ahead of Schneider. Alesi was now fifth and Häkkinen ninth ahead of Green. The Finn pitted for the second time on lap 25 followed by Green one lap later whilst Alesi and Schneider came in on laps 28 and 29 respectively. Spengler made his second stop on lap 30 again without losing the lead. On lap 32, he posted the fastest lap of the race with a 1:24.699.

Schneider was second and Alesi fifth, one second behind Kristensen. When the Dane made a mistake under braking at the beginning of lap 36, Alesi took fourth place. On the same lap, Häkkinen made an additional pit stop because he had not got enough fuel in the previous pit stops due to a canted fuel can. The Finn dropped from ninth to 12th.

After 43 laps, Spengler took the chequered flag for his second consecutive DTM victory. Schneider ended up second and Alesi came home fourth.

Stefan Mücke, who had qualified the 2005 TV-Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class sixth, was pushed into a spin by Alexandros Margaritis (Easy Rent AMG-Mercedes C-Class) on the second lap and dropped to 17th. Margaritis therefore received a drive-through penalty for which he drove through the pitlane on lap six. Finally Mücke came home 11th and Margaritis ended up 15th.

Bruno Spengler, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006, winner: "A great race and I am really happy to start from pole position for the first time and to win again, after my victory at the Norisring. In both wet and dry conditions my car ran faultlessly and I thank the entire team for a perfect job throughout the weekend."

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006, second: "Yesterday's qualifying was good and the race today was excellent. Of course, I would have preferred to start from pole and win; however, today Bruno was simply better. 12 points are a good advantage, but now I have to watch out for two competitors. Congratulations to Bruno for a great performance here at the Nürburgring."

Jean Alesi, stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005, fourth: "A super race and a good consolation for the Norisring disappointment. I scored points again, and I am happy for my Persson team which did a great job this weekend."

Jamie Green, Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006, ninth: "I started well, but unfortunately I lacked grip today and had problems with the balance. This improved only in the final 20 laps, which was proved also by the better lap times."

Stefan Mücke, TV-Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005, 11th: "In the beginning it was a bit chaotic and I was pushed several times. Afterwards I was able to move up the field. Unfortunately, I hit Daniel la Rosa and he spun. It was unintentionally and I'm sorry for that."

Mika Häkkinen, AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006, 12th: "My wiper did not work and in the spray during the opening stages and I hardly saw anything. Therefore, I was careful not to cause an accident and lost some positions. When it dried out I improved significantly and I posted the second fastest lap of the race. Due to the problem with the fuel can and the third pit stop, I missed a result in the points. Nothing more to say. I will now focus on the next race in Zandvoort."

Mathias Lauda, Second Hand AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2004, 13th: "During the first lap I drove a bit too conservatively and lost some places. Later I fought back and made up several positions. When I had a clear track I was able to match Stefan Mücke's pace in the 2005 car."

Alexandros Margaritis, Easy Rent AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005, 15th: "The first three laps were the best. Then I tried to pass Mattias Ekström, but unfortunately hit Stefan Mücke and received a drive-through penalty. The weekend ended as messy as it had started yesterday."

Daniel la Rosa, TrekStor AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005, 16th: "I started well; however, I touched Stefan Mücke twice. After the second time, I had strong vibrations at the left rear and dropped back."

Susie Stoddart, AutoScout24 AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2004, retired due to an electronic failure: "I had a good race and was able to cope well with the tricky conditions. However, on lap 29 the electronic control unit failed and the car stopped."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Congratulations and well done to Bruno Spengler who drove a great race in most difficult conditions and was always faster than the rest. Congratulations also to Bernd Schneider, he is the only driver to finish in the points in all six races so far and has extended his championship lead from eight to 12 points."

"Jean Alesi was again the well-known fighter and moved up from 15th to fourth position. This demonstrates the competitiveness of the DTM, which was also proved by the fastest lap times. However, the championship is not decided yet and the next races will be tough for us, also because of the new weight handicap."

-credit: mercedes

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