DTM » 1 January 1901
Stoddart wins `04 battle at Oschersleben.
Scotland's Susie Stoddart continued to impress in the '04 spec Mercedes at Oschersleben by coming home in 16th place ahead of rivals Mathias Lauda and Vanina Ickx in similarly aged machinery.
Considering this was Stoddart's first race on the narrow, twisty circuit near Magdebeburg in Northern Germany the 23-year-old showed good pace to beat fellow female driver Vanina Ickx in the 2004 Audi A4 DTM, and more importantly, see the checquered flag for the third time in a row.
"It was a bad start but a good race in the end the tyres faded, but still I have learned a lot and it was great to drive," said Stoddart after Sunday's 44-lap race, typically guarded regarding her performance.
Stoddart started her season with a solid 10th place at Hockenheim in her first ever DTM race and finished a respectable 15th in the last race at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, beaten by Mathias Lauda in the '04 spec Mercedes.
Lauda finished 16th, behind Stoddart at Oschersleben and performed admirably despite his race plan being compromised by a spinning Christian Abt on the first lap.
"I lost time on the opening lap when Timo Scheider spun in front of me," said Lauda, "and I had to drive through the grass to avoid him. It's a shame, because I started well and my lap times were OK."
Meanwhile, another victim of Abt's wayward Audi was Icxk in the Futurecom Audi A4 who eventually finished 18th, still in search of an defining performance in her debut DTM campaign.
"My start was very good and I gained several places and I lost them again when I had to run through the grass in order to evade Timo Scheider, who was spinning," revealed Ickx. "After that, I was only able to overtake my team-mate. My race was more consistent than the first two races and better than the warm-up had suggested, unfortunately, the pit stops cost me a lot of time again. This is an area in which the team has got to improve before Brands Hatch, and I need to practice my starts a bit more."
Ickx's team mate, Olivier Tielemans' DTM career could be in doubt after the Dutch driver suffered another disappointing race in what is becoming a baptism of fire in his first season of DTM.
"My start was good and I overtook a few cars," said Tielemans, "unfortunately I flat-spotted my tyres, that's why the car was vibrating heavily and I wasn't able to keep the cars chasing me from overtaking. On the second set of tyres, things got better, and on the third, as well. Towards the end I was touched by Daniel la Rosa, I spun and I received a drive-through penalty - unfortunately, I don't know why."
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