A dream comeback for BMW: victory in the second DTM race at Lausitzring.
Klettwitz. Sheer joy for DTM returnee BMW. With the BMW M3 DTM, Canadian Bruno Spengler won the second DTM round of the year at Lausitzring and thus secured a DTM race win for the brand from Munich after 20 years. “I can hardly believe it. On Saturday, the first pole after 20 years, today the 50th DTM race win for BMW achieved by me. I had goose bumps all over. I will never forget this weekend”, the 28-year old winner said. Behind second-placed Gary Paffett with the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, who had won the season opener at Hockenheim, Brazilian Augusto Farfus crowned the perfect weekend for BMW by finishing third. In total, 72,000 spectators watched the three-way battle of the premium manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the Lausitz region.
On the way to the tenth DTM race win of his career, Spengler showed a dominant performance and strong nerves. From the very beginning, he had to withstand the attacks from Paffett, who had overtaken Farfus at the start and from then on kept the pressure on Spengler. “I have tried everything to overtake Bruno, but today, I didn’t succeed. We could have won, but we still extend our points’ lead with this second-place finish, which is great”, Paffett said about his situation.
Mattias Ekström ended up as the best-placed Audi driver. The Swede with the Audi A5 DTM, who finished fifth behind Brit Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz), said after the race: “Today, we couldn’t do any better. Here, we still lacked the pace to win the race. But today, we still have learned a lot again, which is the most important thing. And I have scored further valuable points. The season is still long.”
Ekström’s fellow Audi driver, two times’ DTM champion Timo Scheider, was able to improve from twelfth place on the grid to finish sixth after the 52 lap race. Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk finished seventh and became the third BMW driver to score points. The two Audi drivers Edoardo Mortara from Italy and Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque and Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) rounded out the top ten.
In the drivers’ standings, Paffett remains in the lead with 43 points from his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Green (30 points). Spengler and Ekström are tied in fourth place with 25 points each.
BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt: “Most certainly, this is a very special moment which we didn’t expect this way. This fantastic victory by Bruno Spengler is the crown on a week, which was quite something. Firstly, we had our strong comeback weekend at Hockenheim, then our maiden pole-position yesterday and today, in only our second race, already the first victory in our new DTM era. This is fantastic, simply unbelievable, absolutely awesome!”
Mercedes-Benz head of motorsport Norbert Haug: “We were very close, our drivers were bumper-to-bumper with the opposition. The important thing is that the DTM is exciting. The three brands are providing great motorsport. Now, we have seen two races with two different winners. Let’s wait and see what it will be like at Brands Hatch, perhaps we will see the third there. Scoring points has never been more difficult in DTM history.”
Audi head of motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “Of course, we can’t be happy with this result, because this time again, we couldn’t get the tyres on our cars to work well in the race. Today, Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider have made the best of their starting grid positions that weren’t optimal and have made up several places, at times with very good lap times. Nevertheless, we have to understand our A5 better and use the full potential. We will work hard on that.”