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Mortara claims Zandvoort thriller
26 August 2012
Edoardo Mortara has claimed his second career DTM victory following a rollercoaster Zandvoort race.
The Italian led home an Audi 1-2-3 after an enthralling inter-team battle with Mike Rockenfeller.
Point's leader Gary Paffett finished seventh behind main rivals Jamie Green and Bruno Spengler after being spun around by Martin Tomczyk during the chaos of an untimely rain shower hitting the circuit mid-race. Defending champion Tomczyk retired as a result of the contact.
It was Rockenfeller who took the led off the line in the changeable conditions thanks to the pole sitter, Timo Scheider, stalling on the line while Mortara followed behind in second.
Mortara almost led after the first round of stops after staying out two laps longer than race rival Rockenfeller. As the German exited the pits the pair ran alongside each other into turn 1 until the eventual race winner eventually yielded track position, allowing the Phoenix-run Audi to then build a comfortable margin.
However, that margin soon evaporated thanks to a downpour, which turned the race into a bare-knuckle fight. Mortara, who relentlessly closed the gap, barged his way through at turn 1 on lap 32 and didn't look back.
Mattias Ekstrom completed an all Audi podium while Jamie Green, who looked menacing during the downpour finished fourth, doing his title challenge no harm.
Adrien Tambay scored his best ever DTM result in the trickiest circumstances possible. The Frenchman guided a tail happy A5 to fifth just ahead of championship contender, Bruno Spengler in the Schnizter-run BMW who started the race from 18th.
Paffett, who produced a spectacular recovery drive to seventh, made two wonderfully robust manoeuvres on the BMW's of Dirk Werner and Augusto Farfus within half a lap before HWA team-mate Ralf Schumacher allowed the Brit through for seventh.
Werner had looked set to finish to tenth, but a ferocious spat between Farfus and Schumacher left the door open for the BMW man to undercut and demote the pair to ninth and tenth.
The duo continued to tussle for position right until the dying embers of the race, but the Brazilian narrowly got the better of the German.
Notable retirements included Timo Scheider and David Coulthard after the pair clashed during the Abt mans charge back through the field.
by Simon Evans
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