Spengler wins at Hockenheim

Bruno Spengler opened the DTM season with a commanding victory from pole position at Hockenheim

Spengler wins at Hockenheim

The HWA Mercedes driver controlled the race from the front and led every lap on his way to an eighth career win and an early championship lead.

Behind him, the top four finished just as they qualified with Mattias Ekstrom, Ralf Schumacher and Timo Scheider following the Canadian home.

The last lap proved dramatic. First Spengler's team-mate Schumacher locked up under braking for the Mercedes Arena and had to defend robustly from Scheider's Abt Audi.

Then Ekstrom slowed through the final two corners with a rear suspension problem and - after beating Schumacher to the runner-up spot by a tenth of a second - pulled his Audi straight off the track.

Schumacher's third place represented his maiden podium finish in the DTM while Scheider was fourth.

Martin Tomczyk finished fifth and was the highest-placed of the drivers of older-spec machinery. The German nearly had a massive effect on the outcome of the race, however, when he left his pit after his second stop with a fuel can still attached to his car.

The can fell off his Phoenix Audi between turns one and two, necessitating the deployment of the safety car, which failed to pick up the leaders initially.

After starting 18th, Gary Paffett made it up to eighth place before his second stop, but became stuck behind Miguel Molina's 2008-spec Abt Audi. He finally passed the Spaniard into turn two after the safety car pulled in and then got by Maro Engel for sixth before the end.

Paffett's HWA team-mate Jamie Green also passed Engel's Mucke Mercedes before the end as the pair rounded out the points finishers in seventh and eighth.

Oliver Jarvis finished ninth in his Abt Audi, but not before he spun his team-mate Molina at the exit of the Spitzkehre hairpin on lap 28. Molina had run wide on entry to the corner as he attempted to re-pass Paffett. That allowed David Coulthard (Mucke) to complete the top 10.

Results - 38 laps:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car              Time/Gap
 1.  Bruno Spengler        HWA Mercedes      1h03m07.244s
 2.  Mattias Ekstrom       Abt Audi              + 3.696s
 3.  Ralf Schumacher       HWA Mercedes          + 3.883s
 4.  Timo Scheider         Abt Audi              + 4.585s
 5.  Martin Tomczyk        Phoenix Audi          + 5.256s
 6.  Gary Paffett          HWA Mercedes          + 6.591s
 7.  Jamie Green           HWA Mercedes         + 10.653s
 8.  Maro Engel            Mucke Mercedes       + 11.938s
 9.  Oliver Jarvis         Abt Audi             + 13.803s
10.  David Coulthard       Mucke Mercedes       + 14.246s
11.  Mike Rockenfeller     Abt Audi             + 16.164s
12.  Susie Stoddart        Persson Mercedes     + 16.488s
13.  Christian Vietoris    Persson Mercedes     + 17.310s
14.  Edoardo Mortara       Rosberg Audi         + 18.341s
15.  Rahel Frey            Phoenix Audi         + 25.944s
16.  Miguel Molina         Abt Audi             + 28.420s
17.  Filipe Albuquerque    Rosberg Audi         + 29.011s

Retirements:

     Renger van der Zande  Persson Mercedes       30 laps
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