Audi's Tom Kristensen achieved what he threatened all weekend and won the third round of the 2006 DTM Championship at a very cold and cloudy Oschersleben ahead of Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green.

Kristensen stamped his authority from pole, seizing the lead as Jamie Green bogged down yet again at the start and was passed into the sweeping first turn by his Canadian team mate Spengler.

The Dane quickly used the 10 kilo weight advantage over the rival Mercedes cars to eek out a lead as the squabbling pack negotiated the tight and twisty circuit behind his Siemens Audi A4.

Related Articles

Despite the close-quarter racing, the only victims on the opening lap were the Audi pair Frank Stippler and Christian Abt who collided going into the Hasseroder turn and Timo Scheider suffered an equally poor start after spinning at McDonalds corner.

The opening laps saw Kristensen lead in confident style with his Audi team mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen in fourth behind a hard charging Spengler and Green with Hakkinen hassling Frentzen for fourth place.

Kristensen dived into the pits early on lap six and successfully outfoxed the pursuing HWA Mercedes' of Spengler and Green with a quick stop and some rapid laps to consolidate the lead.

It seemed throughout the early laps that Spengler was holding up Green, the Brit hungry for his first DTM race win, however as the two pitted and exited the pits together with Green nudging the young Canadian back onto the track, Spengler soon grasped the nettle and pulled away from the Leicestershire driver.

As Kristensen attempted to pull out a lead following the pit stops, the Audi man was baulked by a race-leading Daniel la Rosa in the TrekStor Mercedes allowing the hard-charging Spengler to catch the Dane, certainly a case of one Mercedes helping another in the pursuit of Audi.

Once again, Alexandros Margaritas in the 2005 spec Easy Rent AMG Mercedes impressed, turning in some stunning lap times with the black machine and inherited the lead briefly due to other driver's stops before succumbing to a faulty wheel nut with just one lap left.

Entering the closing stages tyre wear became a major issue with Kristensen needing to use all his wealth of endurance racing experience to steer the Audi A4 to the finish whilst maintaining his advantage over the impressive Spengler.

Kristensen held on to win for the second time in his DTM career, and at Oschersleben, by over three seconds from Spengler with Green keeping up his championship momentum in third.

"That was a great weekend for Audi, the team and myself," said a delighted Kristensen after the race. "It was my first win in the DTM since Oschersleben 2004. We have broken our duck and It is a great feeling."

The Dane now leads the DTM standings by two points from Mercedes' Bernd Schneider who seemed to struggle with the added ballast and failed to make it a hat-trick of wins on '06 settling for fifth with Kristensen's team mate Frentzen pipping the four-time champion to fourth at the flag.

Behind the victorious Audi Oschersleben represented a coming of age for Spengler as the Canadian emerged from the frantic action delighted with his best finish in the DTM championship.

"My first podium in the DTM. It is great and I am overjoyed," stated an elated Spengler, "I can get used to that. I had a great start and managed to overtake Jamie, but unfortunately, I couldn't find a way past Tom."

Spengler's podium success occurred at the expense of Green who finished his weekend's work disappointed with his lacklustre start and the lack of overtaking chances throughout the 44 laps of Oschersleben.

"My start was not perfect, I dropped back to third place because I had some wheelspin," sighed Green. "Too bad because in fact I was quick and constant throughout the race. But unfortunately, overtaking here at Oschersleben is almost impossible when your opponent doesn't make a mistake."

Scotland's Susie Stoddart continued to impress in her rookie season, finishing 15th in her '04 spec Mercedes, ahead of her rivals in similar equipment and importantly finished on the lead lap with an improving Mathias Lauda in 16th.