DTM » 23 July 2006
Maiden win for Spengler as Schneider extends lead.
Bruno Spengler claimed his first ever DTM victory in the fifth round of the championship at the Norisring in front of a record 147,000 people, the Canadian benefiting from the misfortune of early leader Jamie Green to jump Bernd Schneider at the pit stops and take the win.
Spengler, in his first season as a works AMG-Mercedes driver, had started the race in third place but found himself in second place when Green, who was leading having started from pole position, pulled into the pit lane to retire after he spun at the Scholler-S.
At that point Schneider inherited the lead, with Spengler and Mika Hakkinen in close attention, while Mattias Ekstrom and Tom Kristensen led the Audi charge.
With Mercedes seemingly having the advantage on the short street circuit, Audi tried different strategies with their drivers, with Kristensen making his two pit stops very early, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen proved the last of the late stoppers.
Of the two, Kristensen's strategy appeared to work, moving up to fourth place with the finish in sight. However, the Dane eventually slipped back to fifth place, being overtaken by the 2005-specification Mercedes of Stefan Mucke who put on a stunning charge from 19th on the grid, overtaking driver after driver on the way to fourth place - his best finish in four years of competing in the DTM.
Brands Hatch winner Mattias Ekstrom had to settle for sixth place, ahead of fellow Audi drivers Timo Scheider and Pierre Kaffer, who rounded out the point scorers in the top eight.
The lead though remained hotly contested until the end with championship leader Schneider seemingly looking as though he would take his third win of the year. However, while he took his pit stop in the middle of the window, Spengler remained on track until the latter part of the race, eventually diving into the pits with just 18 of laps to go, emerging back to on track with just a second separating him from his team-mate.
From here Spengler held Schneider off by less than a second to the flag to record his maiden win in only his second season of touring car racing and his first win in four years. The Canadian driver was also delighted to claim victory at what is the DTM's jewel in the crown.
“Celebrating my maiden DTM win here at the Norisring is just unbelievable. I am overjoyed. My last win is a long time ago, that was in 2002 in Formula Renault. Winning here today is a dream. The atmosphere at the Norisring is incredible and therefore, this race win almost means twice as much.”
Click on relevant pic to enlarge [NEW FEATURE]
Start the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.