Bruno Spengler gives new BMW its first DTM win at Lausitz

Bruno Spengler gave BMW its first DTM win for 20 years after resisting extreme race-long pressure from Gary Paffett's Mercedes at Lausitz

Bruno Spengler gives new BMW its first DTM win at Lausitz

A rocket start from Paffett from third on the grid brought him onto the tail of polesitter Spengler at the first corner of the race, and the pair were able to pull away from the pursuing back during the early stages.

While the gap between the two stabilised at under a second for most of the race, Schnitzer driver Spengler was able to crucially increase his advantage to around 1.5s as both rounds of mandatory pitstops approached.

This meant that despite the HWA team twice giving Paffett a quicker pitstop and the British driver producing better in and out laps than his rival, Spengler was just able to keep the lead.

Championship leader Paffett spent the last 16 laps right on his rival's bootlid; the gap never increasing beyond 0.6s. But he was unable to mount a passing move. He lost any chance of passing Spengler when he braked slightly too late at Turn 1 on the final lap, bumping over the Ludwig kerbs and dropping more than 1s behind.

That ensured that Spengler took his 10th DTM victory and the first for BMW since Roberto Ravaglia's double win at Hockenheim in October 1992 - also in a Schnitzer-run car.

Behind them another BMW/Mercedes battle ensued as Augusto Farfus, who had lost second place to Paffett at the start, resisted similar pressure from Jamie Green's HWA car for the second half of the race.

Green, who had started sixth, made an excellent move to deprive Edoardo Mortara's Rosberg Audi of fourth on lap nine and then ran 10 laps longer than any of the other frontrunners during his first stint to move onto the tail of Farfus's RBM-run M3.

A slow final pitstop for Green, caused as the HWA mechanics struggled to fit his left-rear wheel, meant a stationary time more than 3s longer than the Brazilian and ensured he stayed behind entering the final stint. No matter how hard he tried, he could not deny Farfus a maiden DTM podium on only his second start in the series.

Mattias Ekstrom had a steady run to fifth, the Swede finishing a second ahead of his Abt Audi team-mate Timo Scheider, who had started 12th, copied Green's strategy of running a long first stint and took full advantage by exiting the pits after his final stop side by side with Ekstrom.

Champion Martin Tomczyk, who had battled with Green and Mortara for fourth during the first third of the race, took his first points finish since switching from Audi to BMW with seventh, while Mortara and his team-mate Filipe Albuquerque were next up.

After starting fourth, Mike Rockenfeller dropped four places on the opening lap, let Scheider by for eighth early on and then endured a long final pitstop due to a problem with the right-rear wheel. The German had looked set to complete the points finishers in the Phoenix Audi, but fell to 13th instead.

That should have handed Robert Wickens his maiden DTM point, but the Canadian's Mucke Mercedes ground to a halt with a mechanical problem with four laps left. Ralf Schumacher (HWA) picked up the final point instead.

Results - 52 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 1h09m45.795s 2. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes + 1.019s 3. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW + 7.069s 4. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes + 7.676s 5. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi + 21.362s 6. Timo Scheider Abt Audi + 22.607s 7. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW + 25.446s 8. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi + 32.202s 9. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi + 32.658s 10. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes + 35.513s 11. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes + 45.699s 12. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes + 46.355s 13. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi + 47.667s 14. Joey Hand RMG BMW + 48.034s 15. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi + 48.836s 16. Roberto Merhi Persson Mercedes + 56.454s 17. Andy Priaulx RBM BMW + 58.984s 18. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi + 1m04.646s 19. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW + 1m05.201s 20. Rahel Frey Abt Audi + 1m08.570s 21. Susie Wolff Persson Mercedes + 1 lap Retirements: Robert Wickens Mucke Mercedes 47 laps 
shares
comments
BMW sweeps front row for Lausitz DTM race with Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus

Previous article

BMW sweeps front row for Lausitz DTM race with Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus

Next article

Bruno Spengler describes BMW's victory at Lausitz only two races into its DTM return as a dream

Bruno Spengler describes BMW's victory at Lausitz only two races into its DTM return as a dream
Load comments
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020