DTM

1 Bruno Spengler (CDN), BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M3 DTM 

BRUNO SPENGLER CLAIMS FINAL DTM POLE OF THE YEAR—

 Hockenheim. Picture-perfect weather for the DTM season finale at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, where the 22 DTM drivers battled it out for the starting grid positions for the race on Sunday for the final time this year. BMW dominated proceedings in qualifying, because the brand from Munich had a clean sweep in the final heat of the hunt for the fastest times, locking out the first four places. The fastest driver was Bruno Spengler. The 30-year old completed his lap of the 4.574 kilometres long track in 1:33.443 minutes and will thus be starting from first place on the grid for the 16th time in his DTM career. “In the last few races, I often had bad luck. Being on pole is simply so much fun. I am happy for the guys in my team who are working very hard. Moreover, we want to defend the manufacturers’ title,” the Canadian said after qualifying. 

Spengler’s fellow BMW driver Dirk Werner will be lining up next to him on the front row of the grid for the tenth season round of 42 laps, starting from second place. The driver from Hanover was 0.303 seconds down on Spengler’s time. “Our boss has said how important the manufacturers’ title is and what we have to do,” the 32-year old explained. Brit Andy Priaulx and Timo Glock, also with BMW M3 DTM, claimed third and fourth place on the grid respectively. For both, it was their best DTM qualifying result. Most recently, Audi had locked out the fourth DTM qualifying heat with all four cars at Zandvoort in 2012.

Miguel Molina was the fastest Audi driver in fifth place. “A nice moment for me. Being the best-placed Audi driver in the final qualifying session of the year is great. Today, I got the maximum out of the car and I didn’t make any mistakes. Tomorrow, we will battle for the manufacturers’ and teams’ title,” the Spaniard said.

Canadian Robert Wickens was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in 13th place. The 24-year old said about qualifying: “The DTM is a tough series. Unfortunately, I made a little mistake in Q2 and to make it beyond the second qualifying heat in the DTM, you need a perfect lap. I didn’t manage to get that, but anything can happen tomorrow.” 

Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), who already secured himself the title in the race at Zandvoort, didn’t do better than ninth place. “Of course, I had hoped for more, but today, things simply didn’t go so well,” the newly-crowned DTM champion said.

Prior to the race on Sunday, Rockenfeller is leading in the drivers’ standings beyond reach with 142 points from Augusto Farfus (BMW) with 118 and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) with 71 points. The tenth and final round of the season will start on Sunday at 14.00 hrs. ARD is broadcasting live from 13.15 hrs

Formula Renault 2.0

DE VRIES WINS

DE VRIES WINS, TECH 1 RACING TAKE TEAM TITLE

Nyck de Vries (Koiranen GP) enjoyed a Saturday to remember at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Starting in pole after beating the lap record, the Dutchman was in dominant form as he won the first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race of the weekend. Finishing behind him were title rivals Oliver Rowland (Manor MP Motorsport) and Pierre Gasly (Tech 1 Racing), with the Frenchman seeing his championship lead trimmed to eight points. Meanwhile, Tech 1 Racing picked up the points they needed to seal the team title.

Nyck de Vries began the day by seizing his first pole in the category, the McLaren Young Driver Development Programme member heading the grid from the leading trio in the championship standings: Pierre Gasly, Oliver Rowland and Esteban Ocon (ART Junior Team).

The polesitter held on to his lead when the lights went out, with Oliver Rowland catching Pierre Gasly off guard to jump into second behind him. Shunted on to the grass by Esteban Ocon, Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) lost nine places, while a three-way collision on lap one meant early retirements for Ukyo Sasahara (Euronova), Yu Kanamaru (KTR) and Roman Beregech (RC Formula).

The leader maintained a fierce pace, posting one fastest lap after another. To his rear Oliver Rowland gradually extended his advantage over Pierre Gasly, while the battles raged in the pack behind them.

Untroubled out front, Nyck de Vries eased over the line to score his second win of the year from Oliver Rowland and Pierre Gasly. The fourth man home, Esteban Ocon picked up a ten-second penalty for his manoeuvre at the start and dropped down to seventh behind Egor Orudzhev (Tech 1 Racing), who got past Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team) on lap 12, and Ignazio D’Agosto (KTR). Oscar Tunjo, Kevin Jorg (Jenzer Motorsport) and Victor Franzoni (Koiranen GP) were the other drivers to make the top ten.

Thanks to the points scored by Gasly and Orudzhev, Tech 1 Racing clinched a second team crown to go with the one they won in their first year in the category in 2010.

What they said

Nyck de Vries: “I’m thrilled at winning one of the last races of the season, especially as they’re the ones people tend to remember more. We didn’t get off to the best start this weekend, but our teamwork paid off with the pole and the win.”

Oliver Rowland: “We saw last year that anything can happen. We managed to limit the damage thanks to one of my best starts, but we have a lot of work ahead of us tonight to find the performance levels we need to win.”

Pierre Gasly: “The goal is to maintain my advantage. I made a bad start and I wasn’t going to try and do the impossible. It was difficult to stay close on the fast turns. It’s an important third place for me and it’s up to us to go and get pole tomorrow.”