Zandvoort: Mercedes-Benz race report

Bruno Spengler Fifth Mika Hakkinen and Alexandros Margaritis in positions seven and eight The top 12 drivers within 12 seconds Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished the seventh round of the 2007 DTM in...

Bruno Spengler Fifth
Mika Hakkinen and Alexandros Margaritis in positions seven and eight
The top 12 drivers within 12 seconds

Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished the seventh round of the 2007 DTM in Zandvoort, Netherlands in fifth place and was the best C-Class driver. After 38 laps, Bruno came home 2.9sec behind winner Martin Tomczyk (Audi). Mika Hakkinen (2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class), winner of the previous race in Mugello, came home seventh after starting 13th. Alexandros Margaritis (stern 2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up eighth.

After five consecutive race wins, four of them with the new C-Class, this car carried 20 kilograms more than the opposition of the same year, due to the handicap weight.

The results of the other Mercedes-Benz drivers: Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class) ninth, Jamie Green (2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) 11th, Bernd Schneider (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) 12th, Paul di Resta (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th, Mathias Lauda (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) 15th, Susie Stoddart (2005 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 17th.

After seven out of 10 races, Bruno Spengler is now third overall with 26 points; Ekstrom is the overall leader with 38 points ahead of Tomczyk with 30. Bernd Schneider is fourth overall with 25.5 points.

§ A crowd of 74,500 attended the 2007 DTM season's seventh race in the Netherlands.

The start: Bruno Spengler, sixth fastest in qualifying, was sixth after the opening lap. Paul di Resta, seventh at the start, was pushed into a spin by Tom Kristensen (Audi) at the first corner and dropped to 18th and last place. Mika Hakkinen improved from 13th to 10th. Daniel la Rosa did not start due to a drive shaft failure shortly before the race.

Lap 6: Bruno Spengler, sixth less than three seconds behind leader Mattias Ekstrom, came in for his first pit stop. Alexandros Margaritis pitted as well.

Lap 7: Pit stops of Gary Paffett (ninth) and Mika Hakkinen (10th). Hakkinen overtook his Mercedes team mate at the pit lane exit.

Lap 13: Bruno Spengler and Mika Hakkinen came in for their respective second pit stops.

Lap 14: Paul di Resta pitted for the first time, followed by Bernd Schneider one lap later.

Lap 16: First pit stop of Jamie Green. Two laps later he posted the fastest lap of the race: 1min35.395.

Lap 19: Gary Paffett and Bernd Schneider came in for their second stops.

Lap 21: After exiting the pits, Tom Kristensen hit Bernd Schneider's car.

Lap 22: Whilst 14 drivers had already pitted twice, Mathias Lauda -- now in first place -- came in for his first stop. He was followed by Susie Stoddart one lap later. At the same time, Paul di Resta came in for the second time.

Lap 28: Second pit stop of Jamie Green.

Lap 29: Martin Tomczyk was in the lead ahead of Alexandre Premat; Bruno Spengler who had started sixth was now third. Mika Hakkinen had improved from 13th to sixth and Alexandros Margaritis was eighth.

Lap 31: Martin Tomczyk struggled to defend the lead and Bruno Spengler, followed closely by Timo Scheider, caught up.

Lap 33: Timo Scheider hit Bruno Spengler from behind, but was not able to pass. Mattias Ekstrom overtook Mika Hakkinen after touching him at the side.

Lap 36: Timo Scheider hit Bruno Spengler again and passed the Canadian.

Finish (lap 38): Martin Tomczyk won. Bruno Spengler was the best Mercedes-Benz C-Class driver and came home fifth.

Bruno Spengler, 2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class, fifth: "We had a very good strategy and a really great speed and I improved to third. However, I was hit by Christian Abt in the pits and then a couple of times by Timo Scheider on the track, what damaged my car at the rear severely and affected the aerodynamics significantly. Now I am fifth instead of third, but there are still three races to go."

Mika Hakkinen, 2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class, seventh: "A very turbulent race after which the mechanics will have a lot of work to repair the damaged cars. My C-Class ran very well and I had expected more than seventh place; unfortunately, I was hit by other cars. At the Nurburgring in five weeks time it will be a different story."

Alexandros Margaritis, 2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class, eighth: "I am happy to finish eighth, because after qualifying 15th I had not expected such a good result. Our team did a great job and I want to thank everybody for their efforts."

Gary Paffett, 2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class, ninth: "I had a bad start and at the first corner I had to back off to avoid Paul di Resta who spun. Therefore I lost a couple of places."

Jamie Green, 2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class, 11th: "At the first corner I had to avoid other drivers and lost several positions. Later I got stuck in traffic and was not able to improve."

Bernd Schneider, 2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class, 12th: "Tom Kristensen exited the pits, when I drove by. He did not back off and moved to my side too far and crashed into my car. Afterwards I had problems with the balance of my car and was not able to improve further."

Paul di Resta, 2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class, 14th: "I started very well, but at the first corner I was hit by Tom Kristensen what damaged the rear of my car. I am disappointed; it was the second time after the Norisring that a start accident destroyed my race."

Mathias Lauda, 2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class, 15th: "My lap times were competitive. Unfortunately, I made my first pit stop too late. Maybe with a different strategy a better result would have been possible at the end."

Susie Stoddart, 2005 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class, 17th: "In the beginning I had a good race. However, during my first pit stop it took too long to fix the left rear wheel and I lost time. That was it."

Daniel la Rosa, 2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class, did not start due to a drive shaft failure: "When I wanted to leave the pits for the grid, the drive shaft failed and we were not able to repair it in the short time before the start. Of course, I am disappointed, but there are still three races to go."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Bruno performed well today improving up to third. In the end, he finished fifth less than three seconds behind the winner. Mika and Alexandros, who improved from their respective grid positions to seventh and eighth, showed that the C-Class and its drivers were competitive despite the 20-kilogram handicap weight. However, we saw some action which does not match our idea of tough but fair sport and which cost Bruno, Mika and Bernd their positions they had fought for. Prior to the final three races of the championship, the DTM will now take a five-week summer break. Afterwards, at the Nurburgring, we will fight for revenge -- sportsmanlike and fair."

-credit: mercedes-benz motorsports

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandre Prémat , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green