SPENGLER MAKES HIS MARK IN TITLE BATTLE WITH NÜRBURGRING VICTORY
Nürburg. 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 Canadian 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 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), who finished the race in sixth place. Spengler is 20 points down on the Brit in the championship standings. “What a dream day. It slightly reminds me of my maiden victory here. Today, it really was great fun. Edoardo 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 his employer BMW, it was the first DTM race win in the Eifel in 22 years.
The runner-up in the hot race, with asphalt temperatures around 50 degrees, Italian Edoardo Mortara also kept cool with his Audi A5 DTM. After his victory in the race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, the 25-year old achieved his second podium finish of the season. After the race of 49 laps and 177.821 kilometres, Mortara said: “A fantastic race with a great result for me. I pushed hard, but Bruno was always about one tenth of a second quicker. That was enough for him.”
Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk started fifth with his BMW M3 DTM and made his way up to finish third with a strong performance. Together with Spengler, he brought BMW the most beautiful present at the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the ’M’ brand.
Briton Jamie Green was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver at the Nürburgring. The fourth-placed scored twelve points and is third in the drivers’ standings. “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,” said Green.
Behind German Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), British driver Paffett took the chequered flag in sixth place with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. After eleventh place on the grid, his worst qualifying result of the season to date, the 31-year old 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’ leader commented.
Canadian Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) finished seventh, his best season result to date. The two Audi drivers Filipe Albuquerque from Portugal and Timo Scheider from Germany as well as Brazilian BMW driver Augusto Farfus rounded out the top ten.
Once again, the DTM turned out to be a real crowd-puller: 89,000 fans attended the race weekend in the Eifel. The next round already takes place at Zandvoort in The Netherlands in one week, on August 26th.
Jens Marquardt, BMW motorsport director: “This is an absolute dream result, a dream weekend for BMW. 40 years M on Friday, pole on Saturday and first and third place on Sunday – it doesn’t get any better. Nürburgring, BMW, M and Schnitzer – this combination is always good for a surprise. And this victory tastes even sweeter in the year of our comeback.”
Dr. Wolfgang UIllrich, head of motorsport Audi: “It was a really difficult race for the drivers and the equipment with such extreme temperatures. We are the most successful brand with four Audis in the top ten. Edoardo drove a faultless race, but unlike Bruno Spengler, he only had one fresh set of tyres left after qualifying.”
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Considering our moderate starting grid positions, we have made the best out of it today, and Gary Paffett has defended his championship lead with a margin of 20 points. Today, seventh place was our best starting grid position. Today, at least we have three Mercedes among the first seven. The significant improvement from yesterday to race day speaks for a great team. Now, we are looking forward to the next round at Zandvoort.”