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Kristensen wins at Hockenheim
17 May 2009
Tom Kristensen celebrated the perfect start to his final season of DTM competition with victory in the opening round of the 2009 season at Hockenheim.
The Dane had looked set for second place after a race that was dominated by fellow Audi driver – and pole sitter – Mattias Ekstrom, but he suffered a puncture with just two laps remaining that led to a late unscheduled pitstop and handed victory to the Le Mans legend.
Kristensen had faced a tough battle for position throughout the race with Timo Scheider shadowing his every move, and the Team Abt pair were split by just 0.353secs at the finish as Audi carried its dominant form from qualifying through into the race. Behind the Team Abt duo, Oliver Jarvis took the final step on the podium at the wheel of his 2008-spec A4, while Markus Winkelhock was fourth.
Paul di Resta was left to lead the Mercedes challenge in fifth place ahead of the year-old car of Maro Engel, while Ekstrom had to settle for seventh following his late stop. Jamie Green rounded out the top eight having started the race from the back of the field.
In his first outing with a 2009 car, Ralf Schumacher was ninth but the German endured a challenging race after being caught up in an incident involving Gary Paffett and Alex Premat on the opening lap. Contact between the pair resulted in Paffett's bonnet coming loose, which then hit Schumacher's car and damaged both the windscreen and the roof. With the Safety Car deployed as a result of the incident, Schumacher was able to pit for repairs before rejoining. Paffett and Premat meanwhile both retired from the race.
Title hopefuls Martin Tomcyzk and Bruno Spengler both failed to finish; Tomcyzk with electrical problems and Spengler with damaged suspension.
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