Bruno Spengler Wins DTM Race at Norisring

Words John Clark | July 05, 2011
Second win of the season and third at the Norisring for Bruno Spengler, driver of a Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class
Words John Clark July 05, 2011

Bruno Spengler, driver of a Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class, won the fifth race of the DTM season from pole position at the Norisring, ahead of Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class). This was Spengler’s ninth DTM win and his third at the Nuremberg street circuit, having previously won here in 2006 and 2007. For Mercedes-Benz, it is the 14th victory at this track. Spengler has now finished on the Norisring podium six years in a row. Since 2003, Mercedes-Benz has won all nine DTM races held at the Norisring.

Spengler’s second win in five races has put him back at the top of the drivers’ standings, which he had led for the first three rounds of the 2011 season.

In the direct comparison between the manufacturers, from a total of 195 races, Mercedes-Benz leads Audi by 107 victories to 58.

The race was stopped after 64 laps owing to extremely poor weather conditions. Four AMG Mercedes C-Class drivers finished in the Top 8, and six Mercedes-Benz drivers finished in the Top Ten. Jamie Green, winner of the last three races at the Norisring took second place to share the podium with Spengler. Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished sixth, while David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) secured a point in eighth position. Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class), Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home in positions nine to eleven. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) was 13th, Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class) retired during the first third of the race after a steering problem put him in the wall at turn three.

Across the race weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), a total of 124,000 spectators visited the Norisring DTM race.

  • Second win of the season and third at the Norisring for Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class)
  • Spengler retakes the drivers’ championship lead with his ninth DTM win
  • Ninth consecutive Mercedes victory at the Norisring since 2003
  • 99th one-two and 163rd DTM win for Mercedes-Benz since 1988
  • Six Mercedes-Benz drivers in the Top Ten

Race summary

The start: The race begins behind the safety car owing to the wet conditions. Bruno Spengler starts from pole for the eleventh time in his DTM career. Gary Paffett runs P2, followed by Jamie Green in P3. Ralf Schumacher and Maro Engel are in P5 and P6.

Lap 5: The safety car comes in, and the racing begins.

Lap 6: Spengler defends his lead from Paffett. Green consolidates third place, Schumacher is fifth. Maro Engel loses sixth place to Timo Scheider (Audi).

Lap 9: David Coulthard overtakes Miguel Molina (Audi) and moves into ninth place.

Lap 11: Susie Stoddart moves up a position into P14.

Lap 14: Spengler maintains his lead over Paffett and Green. Schumacher runs fifth.

Lap 15: Gary Paffett crashes into the wall at turn three after a steering problem and retires.

Lap 21: The pit stop window opens. Spengler leads the race. He’s 3.6 seconds ahead of Green in P2.

Lap 28: Seven C-Class drivers run in the top 10 – Spengler, Green, Schumacher, Engel, Coulthard, Christian Vietoris and Renger van der Zande.

Lap 32: Vietoris is the first Mercedes-Benz driver to make his mandatory pit stop.

Lap 35: Coulthard in P8 comes in for his first pit stop.

Lap 38: First pit stop for Engel. He emerges in twelfth place.

Lap 43: Rain begins falling again. Spengler continues to lead from Green.

Lap 45: Leader Spengler comes in for his first mandatory pit stop. Stoddart also pits for fresh tyres.

Lap 47: Schumacher makes his first pit stop. He emerges in fifth place.

Lap 48: Green heads for the pits. After his first pit stop, he emerges in second place behind Spengler.

Lap 52 : Engel and Stoddart pit for the second time for fresh tyres.

Lap 54: Lead driver Spengler completes his second pit stop. Vietoris also pits for a second time for fresh tyres.

Lap 56: Green remains in P2 behind Spengler after his second pit stop.

Lap 58: The safety car comes back out owing to heavy rain. Schumacher pits for the second time for fresh tyres.

Finish (Lap 64): The race comes to an early end. Spengler secures his second win of the season. Green comes home in second place, Schumacher is sixth. Coulthard climbs from P13 on the grid to finish P8. Engel and van der Zande complete the Top Ten.

Comments after the race:

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) – Winner:

“That was one of the most difficult races of my career. Even with the safety car out on track, there was still a lot of aquaplaning. The stewards took the right decision to red flag the race. We had a great strategy and my car was superb today: a big thank you to my team for their work. My second win of the season has put me back in the championship lead. That’s a great feeling.”

Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) – Second:

“Today was a very difficult race because of the rain. Unfortunately, a fourth win at the Norisring wasn’t possible, but I’m happy with second place. I’m getting to grips with my car better race by race. That’s good for me, for Mercedes-Benz and for the championship.”

Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) – Sixth:

“I’m quite happy with my sixth place. This is a decent result. I’m really happy that the stewards stopped the race. Otherwise, it could have ended in chaos.”

David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) – Eighth:

“I’m very happy to have scored my first point of the season. The decision to call off the race was the right one, because we just couldn’t see anything out on track.”

Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) – Ninth:

“I’m a bit disappointed, because I feel that I could have achieved more starting from sixth. After all, we were quick throughout the weekend. Also, I once again had contact with Edoardo Mortara.”

Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) – Tenth:

“I’m not too displeased with tenth place. It’s always difficult when you start in the middle of the field behind the safety car. My pace was pretty good today – hopefully I can continue this form in the coming races. I overtook four cars today.” Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) – Eleventh:

“Conditions today were very chaotic and it was a good thing the race was stopped early. I was stuck in traffic for much of the race and could hardly see a thingbecause of the rain. I’m glad that I was able to finish the race. I didn’t even realise that I crossed the line in eleventh place.”

Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 13th:

“The decision to stop the race was absolutely right, because the rain had made the track undriveable. While it was still reasonably dry out there, I had been making good progress. I had held my position and my car was going well at that stage.”

Gary Paffett (AMG Mercedes C THOMAS SABO-Class) – retired:

“At turn three, I turned the steering wheel as usual, but the car didn’t respond – I didn’t make the turn and continued straight on into the wall. It’s too bad because, starting from second place, we could have had a good result today.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

“Today is 3rd July, so it couldn’t be more appropriate for Bruno Spengler to secure his third victory at the Norisring. We’re leading the championship again and have taken our ninth win in a row here in Nuremberg… it’s fantastic. Jamie Green’s second place only makes our success more complete. Thanks to everyone on the team for a great job. After a one-two in qualifying yesterday, we’ve achieved a one-two in the race as well, and the HWA mechanics also managed the two fastest pit stops today. It was a shame to see Gary retire – we must investigate what happened to the steering before his accident. We’re now all looking forward to seeing the DTM in Munich, for what is sure to be a unique event.”