Norisring DTM: Spengler wins as BMW dominates wet-dry race

Bruno Spengler claimed BMW’s first win of the DTM season in the Norisring Saturday race as the Munich manufacturer secured five of the top six positions.

Norisring DTM: Spengler wins as BMW dominates wet-dry race
Bruno Spengler, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM
Maxime Martin, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM
Bruno Spengler, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM
Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM
René Rast, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Audi RS 5 DTM
Maxime Martin, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM
Augusto Farfus, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM

The French-Canadian driver, whose maiden DTM victory came on the Nuremberg street circuit in 2006 and who claimed a total of three wins at the track with Mercedes, claimed his first success in any DTM race for four years.

Spengler’s win was built on a cracking start that enabled him to burst through from the second row on a wet track and take the lead long before reaching the braking point for the Turn 1 hairpin.

A heavy Bavarian shower had soaked the track and the field lined up on rain tyres, but Audi’s Loic Duval was called in at the end of the first of two green-flag laps to bolt on slicks.

In a series without mandatory pitstops that might have proved a tactical masterstroke, but it served merely to flag up to the world when the crossover point was to switch to slicks.

Maxime Martin had been slow away from pole position, while Mattias Ekstrom sailed his Audi from the third row into second at Turn 1.

Martin passed Ekstrom for second into Turn 1 on the ninth lap, by which time the lead of RBM BMW teammate Spengler was already out to 5.7 seconds.

The gap was 5.5s when Martin and Ekstrom pitted together to take slicks, with Spengler coming in on the following lap.

Spengler really seemed to struggle on slicks in the damp for the first few laps, and soon enough Martin was on his tail.

As the BMWs held station at the front, Ekstrom homed in, making it a trio of cars at the helm of the race.

But Spengler found his feet within a lap or two, and began to pull away again, leaving Martin to fend off Ekstrom.

Ekstrom’s big move came with six laps remaining – he slipstreamed past Martin on the run to Turn 1, then moved over to claim the inside line, but couldn’t make the turn without understeering wide mid-corner, allowing Martin back ahead.

Ekstrom was now out of DRS, but finished the race right on Martin’s bumper and as the new championship leader, while Spengler took the flag 4.3s to the good.

Pre-race points leader Rene Rast was slow away from the front row in his Audi and held fourth before the stops, but was given a drive-through penalty for crossing the yellow pit-exit line.

Marco Wittmann therefore headed BMW stablemates Timo Glock and Tom Blomqvist in the other top-six positions.

Edoardo Mortara had just lost fourth place to Wittmann when his Mercedes was punted into a spin by Mike Rockenfeller, for which the Audi man earned a drive-through.

The recovering Mortara lost out in a battle for seventh with Audi’s Jamie Green, with Nico Muller (Audi) ninth and Gary Paffett pipping Merc teammate Paul di Resta and the charging Rast to the final point.

Title contender Lucas Auer and Robert Wickens were put out of the race by first-lap bumping and barging.

Race results

Cla#DriverCarLapsTimeGap
1 7 canada Bruno Spengler BMW M4 DTM 61 53'15.532  
2 36 belgium Maxime Martin BMW M4 DTM 61 53'19.917 4.385
3 5 sweden Mattias Ekström Audi RS5 DTM 61 53'20.308 4.776
4 11 germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 DTM 61 53'26.344 10.812
5 16 germany Timo Glock BMW M4 DTM 61 53'27.683 12.151
6 31 united_kingdom Tom Blomqvist BMW M4 DTM 61 53'28.360 12.828
7 53 united_kingdom Jamie Green Audi RS5 DTM 61 53'34.105 18.573
8 48 italy Edoardo Mortara Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 61 53'35.860 20.328
9 51 switzerland Nico Müller Audi RS5 DTM 61 53'36.887 21.355
10 2 united_kingdom Gary Paffett Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 61 53'50.239 34.707
11 3 united_kingdom Paul di Resta Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 61 53'50.518 34.986
12 33 germany René Rast Audi RS5 DTM 61 53'50.889 35.357
13 99 germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 DTM 61 53'56.819 41.287
14 63 germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 61 53'58.060 42.528
15 77 france Loic Duval Audi RS5 DTM 60 53'44.387 1 lap
16 15 brazil Augusto Farfus BMW M4 DTM 9 10'42.518 52 laps
17 22 austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1 1'40.694 60 laps
18 6 canada Robert Wickens Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 0    

 

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