Martin Tomczyk was upbeat about his chances at the Nurburgring after winning the pole position yesterday for today's DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) race, and it turned out that his optimism was well-justified, as he held on for a 1.2-second ...
Martin Tomczyk was upbeat about his chances at the Nurburgring after winning the pole position yesterday for today's DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) race, and it turned out that his optimism was well-justified, as he held on for a 1.2-second victory over his Audi teammate Timo Scheider.
"This constellation with Bruno (Spengler) and myself at the front row existed once before at the Nurburgring, in 2007 -- and I won that race," Tomczyk had mused after winning the final qualifying shootout segment.
As the lights went out, Tomczyk grabbed the lead into the first corner, holding off Spengler's Mercedes. He was never to be seriously challenged during the course of the race, and took a satisfying victory, his first one in the DTM since that last Nurburgring one in 2007.
"The car was just fantastic," he smiled. "I didn't have one single problem this weekend. Moreover, it was a comfortable race for me with two Audis behind me. However, winning a race is always the most beautiful thing."
Scheider started fourth, next to Mattias Ekstrom on the second row of the grid. Ekstrom maintained his third position into the first corner, but Scheider was quickly past him as the Swede made contact with Spengler. Both cars sustained minor damage, but Spengler suffered more for it, falling backwards through the field to eventually finish in sixth place.
"All of a sudden I felt a hard hit, when Mattias Ekstrom crashed into my car," the Canadian recounted the incident. "Afterwards, the aerodynamics didn't work sufficiently anymore and I suffered from strong oversteer, particularly in right turns."
Scheider's pit stop strategy had him stopping one lap earlier than Ekstrom, which did not give the Swede enough time to mount an attack while Scheider pitted -- each time Ekstrom would return to the track just behind Scheider, and at the chequered flag the gap was 1.964 seconds.
The three works Audis were clearly the class of the field, though: fourth-placed Markus Winkelhock, driving a 2008-spec Audi A4, was over 16 seconds adrift of Tomczyk, and 13 seconds behind Ekstrom. Oliver Jarvis, in another of the 2008-spec Audis, had looked well-positioned for a strong finish, but he was unceremoniously punted off the track by his teammate Alexandre Premat just eight laps into the race.
The Mercedes honor was defended by Jamie Green, who took fifth, four seconds behind Winkelhock. Erstwhile championship leader Gary Paffett worked his way up from a sixteenth grid position to eighth at the finish, behind teammate Ralf Schumacher, to claim the final championship point.
But while it was Tomczyk's day in the sun, Scheider and Ekstrom could be well satisfied with their points hauls, eight and six points, respectively. With Paffett limited to that single point, Scheider now holds a narrow lead in the standings over Ekstrom, 35 points to 34. Paffett stands at 29, three ahead of Spengler.
The series will now cross the Channel for its next race at Brands Hatch, in three weeks' time.