Perfect DTM weekend for BMW: Spengler secures 2nd victory of season
2012-08-19 14:09:15 Author: admin Source:
Bruno Spengler is turning the battle for the 2012 DTM title into a thrilling affair. With a dominant lights-to-flag victory from Audi driver Edoardo Mortara, the BMW driver crowned a perfect weekend at the Nürburgring. The winner scored the maximum number of 25 points and is now the fiercest rival of points’ leader Mercedes' Gary Paffett, who finished the race in sixth place. Spengler is 20 points down on the Brit in the championship standings. Third place went to fellow BMW driver and reigning DTM Champion Martin Tomcyzk.
At the start of the 49-lap race, Spengler led off the field from Mortara, Mike Rockenfeller, Tomczyk, Jamie Green, Robert Wickens, Paffett, Timo Scheider, Augusto Farfus and Filipe Albuquerque. In the mid-pack, Paffett had jumped from eleventh to seventh following a good traction off the line. Laps 1 through 4, the race action were intense with a couple collisions between team mates Miguel Molina and Adrian Tambay and BMW's Andy Priaulx and Mercedes' Chrisian Vietoris. Tambay and Vietoris would serve drive-through penalties for their over-persistence.
Lap 6, Spengler kept up his consistent pace, leading 1.9 seconds from Mortara. The leading pack maintained the order until the first stops from lap 12 thro' 17. After the stops, Spengler assumed the head of the order from Mortara, Tomczyk, Rockenfeller, Green, Paffett, Wickens, Farfus, Albuquerque as the second half of the race kicked into high gear.
Lap 19, Green pitted from the leading pack for the second time and dropped back momentarily. When everybody else finished their customary second stops by lap 31, Spengler still led the proceedings from Mortara, Tomczyk, Green, Rockenfeller, Paffett, Wickens, Albuquerque, Scheider and Farfus. Albuquerque gained the most of any drivers in the lead group during the stops when he picked off Farfus and Scheider for eighth place.
In the closing stages of the race, Spengler led by 5.7 seconds from Mortara and BMW team mate who tried valiantly to close the gap to Mortara's Audi A5 DTM. Further back, Green, in fourth, could see Rockenfeller's A5 DTM and Paffett's C-Class Coupe in his rear view mirror. The Audi and Mercedes cars were very close as the field started the penultimate lap of the race. Up front, there were no such disputes as Spengler cruised to the finish line 0.6s from Mortara; it was 06.703 at the line. Tomcyzk finished a lonely third place, while Green eventually held fourth, beating Rockenfeller and his fellow Mercedes colleague to the flag.
It was BMW's second victory of the season as Spengler and Tomcyzk 1 - 3 finish enabled the Bavarian marque to commemorate the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the ’M’ brand in style.“What a dream day. It slightly reminds me of my maiden victory here. Edoardo (Mortara) was really quick, but I came out on top. There still are four races to go, in which we will give everything. Then, we will see where we end up,” Spengler said about his second victory of the season and his eleventh career win in the DTM. For BMW, it was the first DTM race win in the Eifel in 22 years.
Briton Jamie Green was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver, he commented, “The fact that we have improved today compared to yesterday’s qualifying is a good thing. But fourth place was all I could do. Action continues at Zandvoort next week and I hope that we will be even stronger then.”
Behind German Mike Rockenfeller, Paffett took the chequered flag in sixth place. After eleventh place on the grid, the championship leader's worst qualifying result of the season to date, the Brit focused on damage control. “Too bad, the car was really fast and we could easily have finished fourth. But after a bad pit stop, I came back on the track behind Rockenfeller and I couldn’t improve anymore,” the points."
Mercedes' Robert Wickens finished seventh, his best season result to date. Albuquerque, Scheider and Farfus rounded out the top ten.
The next round will take place at Zandvoort in the Netherlands in a week's time.
DTM Nurburgring results
1 Bruno Spengler BMW 1:11:12.847
2 Edoardo Mortara Audi +06.703
3 Martin Tomczyk BMW +10.802
4 Jamie Green Mercedes +22.019
5 Mike Rockenfeller Audi +23.054
6 Gary Paffett Mercedes +23.765
7 Robert Wickens Mercedes +25.041
8 Filipe Albuquerque +29.601
9 Timo Scheider +30.422
10 Augusto Farfus +33.686
1 Gary Paffett 103
2 Bruno Spengler 83
3 Jamie Green 81
4 Martin Tomczyk 69
5 Edoardo Mortara 49
6 Mike Rockenfeller 49
7 Mattias Ekström 47
8 Christian Vietoris 24
9 Timo Scheider 18
10 Augusto Farfus 17
DTM Nurburgring qualifying
For BMW and Bruno Spengler, the start of the second half of the season couldn’t have been better. In qualifying for the sixth DTM season round, the Canadian showed himself in an excellent shape at the Nürburgring and claimed pole position for Sunday’s race. Third-placed in the drivers’ standings, Spengler completed his 3.629 kilometres long lap of the tradition-steeped circuit in 1:24.284. “It was very hard today, because all drivers were quick. Therefore, I am all the more happy with pole position. I have to admit: an awesome feeling,” an overjoyed Spengler said after qualifying. For the 29-year old, it was the 13th pole in the DTM and the second of this season. Points’ leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) had a setback: he only qualified eleventh.
Audi driver Edoardo Mortara was no less than 0.221 seconds slower. The Italian will be starting from second place, lining up alongside Spengler on the front row of the grid. “Unfortunately, I have made mistakes in qualifying today and I reckon that we had the potential to be all the way up front. But with two Audis in the top three, chances for the race are very good,” the Italian commented. Mortara’s fellow Audi drivers Filipe Albuquerque from Portugal and German Mike Rockenfeller ended up third and fourth respectively.
Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk and Brazilian Augusto Farfus (both BMW) were classified fifth and sixth in qualifying. British driver Jamie Green, Paffett’s fiercest rivel in second place in the drivers’ standings, ended up seventh in qualifying as the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver of the day. “Unfortunately, we didn’t succeed in getting the best out of the car. We have to accept that and improve as quickly as possible,” Green said.
Dirk Werner ended up eighth with his BMW M3 DTM. Canadian Robert Wickens achieved his best DTM qualifying result to date with ninth place in his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, followed by two times’ DTM champion Timo Scheider (Audi).
Briton Gary Paffett failed to build on the dominant performance he has been showing this season so far. “The car felt well, I didn’t make any big mistakes. Therefore, I am very surprised how slow we are. Now, we have to find out really quickly before the race what the reason is,” Paffett said. Swede Mattias Ekström wasn’t happy either. He will be starting from twelfth place alongside Paffett with his Audi A5 DTM. Further back, Mercedes drivers Christian Vietoris and David Coulthard were out of the fastest qualifers' battle early after the first of four heats. Vietoris was classified 18th, Coulthard ended up 22nd.
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