|Photo Credit: Daimler AG|
After sizing each other up in the opening round of the 2012 DTM at the Hockenheimring, a 22-car grid set for the Lausitzring has a read that the Mercedes-AMG C-Coupe machines and Audi's new A5 race car were up to speed. Making a return to the DTM tour after nearly 20 years out of the German-based auto racing league, BMW realized that their return to the sport was not going to be easy. In sixth spot behind the winning Mercedes-AMG of Gary Paffet, Andy Priaulx led the charge of the BMW M3 DTM racers. Entering round two, the 2012 DTM series would treat the German crowd to a new winner in a very young season.
Taking pole for Sunday's 52-lap event on the 3.478-kilometer road course, it was BMW's turn to take the fight back to the leaders of DTM racing. Canadian veteran Bruno Spengler led a BMW M3 front row with his #7 BMW Bank machine joined by the #16 of Augusto Farfus.
|Photo Credit: BMW Group|
Leading from the start, Spengler's BMW M3 averted the disaster that resulted in a short race at the Hockenheimring last week with his #7 BMW Team Schnitzer car. Challenging the pole-sitter, the #5 Mercedes-AMG C-Coupe of Jamie Green came from 6th to 1st place on lap 21. Despite an effort that consisted of the #5 Mercedes-AMG C-Coupe turning the race's fastest lap of 1 minute, 19.025 seconds, Green would fade to fourth unable to catch the 3rd place car for the final podium spot.
Winning the race from pole position, Bruno Spengler won by more than a second over the Thomas Sabo Mercedes-AMG C-Coupe of Gary Paffet. The 10th career win for the Canadian driver, this victory for BMW comes eactly 19 years, 6 months and 25 days since the German carmaker's last DTM race success. The BMW M3 DTM car's first win was complemented by a third place result of Augusto Farfus. "Augusto Farfus drove a fantastic race. I was behind him most of the time, but despite the great pace of my car, I couldn’t get past." said Farfus' competitor Jamie Green. Commenting on the success of the BMW camp, the automaker's Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said, “This is a very special moment – beyond our wildest dreams. Bruno Spengler’s magnificent victory is the icing on the cake at the end of an incredible week. First came our impressive comeback weekend in Hockenheim, then the first pole position yesterday and now – in only our second race – our first victory in the new DTM era."
|Photo Credit: BMW Group|
Starting the season with a first and second place finish, Gary Paffet has set a high benchmark for the beginning of the 2012 DTM season. Still, Paffet was disappointed missing out on a second-straight victory. "It's such a pity. My THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé had enough speed to win again today. I was just a bit too far behind at the pit-stop. Having said that, my car was really quick and had a brilliant set-up, a tribute to the team" said Gary Paffet. Ralf Schumacher rounded out the top-10 efforts for the Mercedes-AMG C-Coupe cars in the Lausitzring event. Regrettably, the Mercedes-AMG C-Class driven by the second Canadian driver in DTM Robert Wickens held the only race retirement. Running wide on a corner, Wickens fight ended on lap 48.
|Photo Credit: Daimler AG|
Along with Bruno Spengler's reversal of fortunes, several other drivers experienced improved results on the event for the 2012 DTM series. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 2011 champion Martin Tomczyk has finished 20th at the Hockenheimring but recovered to an 8th place finish with his #1 BMW M3 at the Lausitzring.
While the Lausitzring race was a time where the Mercedes-AMG and BMW group cars had a moment to shine, the Audi A5 racing vehicles experienced a less than stellar outing for their second race of the 2012 DTM series but salvaged a strong effort for the four-ring badge. Scoring a podium on the Hockenheimring, the Audi Sport Abt Sportsline team car piloted by Mattias Ekström again led the brigade of A5 Coupes by finishing 5th. Audi Sport Team Rosberg #3 and #4 cars were also able to lock down top-10, point-scoring results making four overall for the auto manufacturer.
The next race for the 2012 DTM Series will be a British stop at the Brand Hatch road course on May 20th.
|Pos #||Driver||Nationality||Race Organization||Car Make|
|1||Bruno Spengler||Canada||BMW Team Schnitzer||BMW M3|
|2||Gary Paffett||England||THOMAS SABO||Mercedes AMG C-Coupé|
|3||Augusto Farfus||Brazil||BMW Team RBM||BMW M3|
|4||Jamie Green||England||Mercedes AMG||Mercedes AMG C-Coupé|
|5||Mattias Ekström||Sweden||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi A5|
|6||Timo Scheider||Germany||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi A5|
|7||Martin Tomczyk||Germany||BMW Team RMG||BMW M3|
|8||Edoardo Mortara||Italy||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi A5|
|9||Filipe Albuquerque||Portugal||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi A5|
|10||Ralf Schumacher||Germany||Mercedes AMG||Mercedes AMG C-Coupé|
|11||Christian Vietoris||Germany||Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG||Mercedes AMG C-Coupé|
|12||David Coulthard||Scotland||DHL Paket Mercedes AMG||Mercedes AMG C-Coupé|
|13||Mike Rockenfeller||Germany||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi A5|
|14||Joey Hand||United States||BMW Team RMG||BMW M3|
|15||Miguel Molina||Spain||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi A5|
|16||Roberto Merhi||Spain||Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG||Mercedes AMG C-Coupé|
|17||Andy Priaulx||Guernsey (Britain)||BMW Team RBM||BMW M3|
|18||Adrien Tambay||France||Audi Sport Team Abt||Audi A5|
|19||Dirk Werner||Germany||BMW Team Schnitzer||BMW M3|
|20||Rahel Frey||Switzerland||Audi Sport Team Abt||Audi A5|
|21||Susie Wolff||Scotland||TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG||Mercedes AMG C-Coupé|
|22||Robert Wickens||Canada||stern Mercedes AMG||Mercedes AMG C-Coupé|