Bruno Spengler wins at wet Norisring
|By Glenn Freeman||Sunday, July 3rd 2011, 12:29 GMT|
Bruno Spengler took victory in a rain-shortened DTM race at the Norisring, denying Jamie Green a fourth straight win on the German street circuit.
The Canadian, who retakes the championship lead from Martin Tomczyk with his second win of the season, led the whole race aside from when he dropped down the order for each of his pitstops.
Green had been mounting a challenge in the middle of the race once he was released into to second when Gary Paffett had a bizarre crash exiting the chicane on lap 16.
Spengler initially seemed to have things under control, enjoying a lead of nearly five seconds following Paffett's accident. But Green had that down to less than a second by lap 35.
That prompted the Briton to declare on the radio that he was "faster than the car in front", but he was unable to focus too much on trying to pass the leader as Mattias Ekstrom remained close in third.
When Spengler pitted for the first time, Ekstrom very briefly grabbed the lead from Green at the chicane. But he then went wide at the final corner and handed the place back immediately.
Spengler enjoyed a bigger lead after the pitstops as the rain got heavier, and one lap after the leader declared over the radio that the standing water was "too much" on the start/finish straight, the officials brought out the safety car. But with the rain showing no signs of letting up, the red flag was thrown on lap 65 of 84.
Former championship leader Tomczyk minimised the damage in the title race by putting in a storming drive to third from 10th on the grid. The 2008-spec Audi driver raced his way up to sixth, then jumped Ekstrom, Ralf Schumacher and Timo Scheider by making two pitstops in three laps.
While Ekstrom slipped back to seventh as he lacked pace in the wetter conditions, two-time champion Scheider held on to fourth. The top five was completed by star rookie Edoardo Mortara, who passed Ralf Schumacher shortly before they pitted for a second time.
Eighth place and the final point went to David Coulthard. The Scot worked his way into the top 10 from 13th on the grid in the early stages, and then got the better of his Mucke Motorsport team-mate Maro Engel towards the end to steal a point.
Results - 64 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Bruno Spengler HWA Mercedes 1h04m43.617s 2. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes + 0.499s 3. Martin Tomczyk Phoenix Audi + 1.493s 4. Timo Scheider Abt Audi + 2.760s 5. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi + 4.725s 6. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes + 6.098s 7. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi + 7.022s 8. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes + 9.672s 9. Maro Engel Mucke Mercedes + 11.320s 10. Renger van der Zande Persson Mercedes + 12.773s 11. Christian Vietoris Persson Mercedes + 14.112s 12. Miguel Molina Abt Audi + 15.459s 13. Susie Stoddart Persson Mercedes + 17.515s 14. Mike Rockenfeller Abt Audi + 21.030s 15. Oliver Jarvis Abt Audi + 21.556s 16. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi + 22.394s 17. Rahel Frey Phoenix Audi + 1 lap Retirements: Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 15 laps