Tomczyk wins at Brands Hatch to take points’ lead
Fawkham. Heavy rain resulted into a really thrilling race with numerous position changes in the seventh DTM season round at Brands Hatch in the UK. With his 2008-spec Audi A4 DTM, Martin Tomczyk became the dominant race winner and also toppled Canadian Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz) from the lead in the drivers’ standings. “This was an incredibly exciting race. I really enjoyed the ride. We keep on pushing and will thus make the battle for the title exciting”, said Tomczyk, who was presented with the winner’s trophy by ex Formula 1 world champion Jody Scheckter. For the 29-year old German, it was his seventh DTM season win and already his third of this year.
Tomczyk’s fellow Audi drivers Mattias Ekström from Sweden and Italian Edoardo Mortara completed the clean sweep of the podium for Audi at the circuit near London. Ekström made a brilliant start to move up from fifth to second right away. Mortara already scored his maiden podium finish in only his seventh DTM round.
Fourth-placed Briton Gary Paffett was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in his home race. The 2005 DTM champion said after the race: “Too bad that there was so much rain. I was still fastest in warm-up in the morning. In fact, I am usually feeling well in the rain, but today, it didn’t go well. I was able to close up to the driver in third place, but it wasn’t enough to make it onto the podium.”
During the race, Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) was able to make up two positions and crossed the finish line in fifth place. Mike Rockenfeller, however, was having problems. The Audi driver started from pole position, but had to allow five drivers in front of him and eventually still scored three points for the drivers’ standings by finishing sixth. Bruno Spengler came to Brands Hatch as the leader in the points’ standings, ended up sixth in qualifying and was docked another two positions on the starting grid due to an infringement of the regulations in second free practice. In the race, the 28-year old only made up one place. In seventh place, Spengler scored two points and thus lost the championship lead to Tomczyk, who is now one point clear. Timo Scheider (Audi) already damaged his car at the beginning of the race and wasn’t able to make up for time lost following an additional pit stop. He ended up 16th. In total, 21,000 spectators watched the race in Great Britain.
The eighth DTM race weekend of the season will take place at Oschersleben from September 16th till 18th.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Our decision to change all the Audis to rain set-up on the starting grid was absolutely right. This meant a lot of work for the mechanics, but fortunately, that paid off. Conditions at the track were very difficult. In the first 15 minutes, we had advantages and we could benefit from these until the end of the race. I am very happy with this result, particularly so for DTM-rookie Edoardo Mortara, who has made it onto the podium in such extreme conditions. I am expecting an exciting and well-balanced battle for the title.”
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “At the beginning of the race, we simply weren’t quick enough. In dry conditions in the morning, everything worked well, but unfortunately, it didn’t work in the rain. At 14 seconds, Gary’s gap to the leader was simply too big. Now, we are concentrating on the next race. We can’t win this one anymore, but we can win the next one. The battle for the title is more open than ever. Audi is only leading by one point.”