Nurburgring: Second win for Spengler

Bruno Spengler celebrates second win in a row Bruno Spengler is the man of the moment. After his maiden victory in Nürnberg four weeks ago, the 22-year old (AMG-Mercedes C-Class) also won at the Nürburgring, where he scored his second DTM race...

Bruno Spengler celebrates second win in a row

Bruno Spengler is the man of the moment. After his maiden victory in Nürnberg four weeks ago, the 22-year old (AMG-Mercedes C-Class) also won at the Nürburgring, where he scored his second DTM race win. During the weekend, 116,000 spectators enjoyed a thrilling qualifying session and a top class race.

In the early stages, it rained, but after 14 laps, the ideal line became drier and the drivers changed to slicks. Spengler had the best way to cope with the difficult conditions in the sixth round of the season and celebrated a dominant lights-to-flag win.

After 43 race laps and 156.047 kilometres, the Franco-Canadian finished ahead of fellow-Mercedes-Benz-driver Bernd Schneider, who crossed the finish line 10.7 seconds down. Martin Tomczyk finished third with his Audi A4 DTM, another 1.8 seconds down. The Bavarian was overjoyed as he had started tenth and made it onto the podium for the first time since the 2004 season final at Hockenheim.

For Tom Kristensen, Bernd Schneider's main rival in the battle for the title, things weren't going as planned. The Dane, who started third, locked up under braking on the 36th lap while running fourth. Mercedes-Benz-driver Jean Alesi and Kristensen's team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen went past. Eventually, Kristensen came home fifth. This allowed four times' DTM champion Schneider to extend his lead in the championship standings.

With 46 points, the driver from the Saarland is now twelve points ahead of two drivers who are tied in second place: both with 34 points, Kristensen and Spengler are the main rivals in the battle for the title. Stalwart Jean Alesi showed a strong performance in moving up from 14th on the grid to fourth at the finish with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class from last year.

Former F1-driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Audi Sport Team Abt) finished sixth ahead of fellow-Audi-driver Timo Scheider. Last year's Nürburgring winner Mattias Ekström finished eighth with his Audi A4 DTM.

Two times Formula 1 world champion Mika Häkkinen (AMG Mercedes) had problems with the fuel can during his first pit stop and eventually finished twelfth.

In a fortnight already, on September 3rd, the battle for the championship lead goes into the next round. At Zandvoort in The Netherlands, Bruno Spengler could score his third win in a row in the seventh DTM round of the season, which would mean a hattrick.

Bruno Spengler (winner, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes): "After my win at the Norisring I was on cloud number seven, and I am even higher up after my win of today. It was a difficult race, in particular at the beginning when it rained. My car was just great, both in the wet and in the dry. The strategy was perfect, I changed from rain tyres to slicks exactly at the right moment."

Bernd Schneider (2nd place, Vodafone AMG Mercedes): "I am very happy with second place. Today, conditions were very hard. Admittedly, my car and my strategy were very good, but Bruno was just quicker. Now, I have two rivals in the battle for the title, that doesn't make things easier."

Martin Tomczyk (3rd place, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "Being on the podium again is a really, really good feeling. It has been a long time coming. I hope, I am now back on the right track. Hopefully, this success can be repeated this season. I had a good start and just drove my race. Eventually, third place is what came out."

Mercedes-Benz motor sport director Norbert Haug: "For me, it was a memorable race at the Nürburgring which was especially difficult early on in the rain. Before the start, I was on the grid myself and I have seldom seen the track that slippery. Therefore, the entire field deserves a big hand for the trouble-free opening lap. All in all, competition was really fair throughout the race. We have seen great overtaking manoeuvres."

"Of course, Bruno Spengler deserves a special mentioning, he dominated proceedings in the race. When the race at the Norisring was great, this one was extraordinary. Still, I don't think that the situation in the championship has changed. The field is still evenly matched. A big hand also for Jean Alesi, he was absolutely competitive."

Audi motor sport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: "Tom Kristensen and Mattias Ekström lost all their chances at the start. Making it up to the front after that wasn't realistic anymore. On a positive note, however, we had six Audis among the first ten cars. This shows a good team performance. Martin Tomczyk's result is great and I am happy for him."

"Timo Scheider also did a good result with a car from last year. As far as the championship is concerned, it has now become even more difficult for us, but that is only motivating us to become even stronger yet. Tom Kristensen wasn't happy with his second set of tyres and he couldn't to the lap times that he had hoped for."

-credit: dtm

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler
Teams Team Abt