Spengler takes emphatic victory in Austria

Bruno Spengler heads a BMW 1-2-3 at Austria's Red Bull Ring
Bruno Spengler has taken his first DTM win as the defending champion to lead an emphatic BMW 1-2-3 at Spielberg's Red Bull Ring.

Spengler, who started from pole-position, controlled the race from the very start and the Canadian immediately established a comfortable cushion ahead of Audi's Edoardo Mortara, who briefly ran second after passing Marco Wittmann at the start before later relinquishing the position back to the German.

The defending champion was always closely followed by rookie Wittmann, who produced an equally as impressive drive to take his maiden podium on only his third DTM outing, but the Schnitzer run-BMW maintained the advantage of simply only having to mirror the strategy of his competitors.

Spengler's victory puts the Canadian at the top of the standings for the first time this season.

Former F1-star Timo Glock proved a successful transition from Formula 1 to touring cars is possible and at the halfway point looked odds on for a famous victory after starting the race from twelfth.

The German made the best use of an alternative strategy by pitting early on lap 4 for the option tyre, promoting the MTEK BMW up into second position behind Spengler after the first round of stops.

The 31-year old eventually had to settle for the final step on the rostrum following a delay during his final pit-stop which elevated Wittmann back into second position.

Despite starting the race from 13th Audi's Mike Rockenfeller also fought his way up the order into a welcome fourth place keeping the former Le Mans 24 hour winner in championship contention.

Mattias Ekstrom completed the top-five with a feisty manoeuvre during the final two-laps which demoted BMW's Augusto Farfus into sixth.

Christian Vietoris was the best placed Mercedes in seventh on yet another disappointing day for the three-pointed star.

The German was followed closely behind by his compatriot Dirk Werner in eighth while Gary Paffett could only manage ninth.

The HWA received a two-second pit-stop penalty earlier in the race for an 'irregular overtake' on the BMW of Martin Tomczyk who was edged off the circuit in turn 3.

Pascal Wehrlein took a solitary point in tenth after also running long on the option tyre during the first stint.

Mortara limped home in 15th despite looking set for a possible podium. The Italian was forced to make an unscheduled stop as a result of receiving damage after banging wheels with the BMW of Wittmann during their battle for second place.

by Simon Evans

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Bank M3 DTM)  [Pic credit: DTM]
Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Bank M3 DTM)  [Pic credit: DTM]
#1 Bruno Spengler (CDN), BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M3 DTM (Photo Credit: DTM)
#1 Bruno Spengler (CDN), BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M3 DTM (Photo Credit: DTM)
Leading the race - #1 Bruno Spengler (CDN), BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M3 DTM  (Photo Credit: DTM)

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