Bruno Spengler won the opening race of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season in commanding fashion at Hockenheim.
Although the Mercedes driver was beaten into the first corner by the Audi of Mattias Ekstrom, the Canadian regained the lead on the exit, as everybody ran onto the runoff area on the outside of the corner. From there he held on to the lead for the rest of the race to score his eighth career win.
Ekstrom made it home in second, despite slowing down with a problem through the final couple of corners on the last lap. Ralf Schumacher finished just behind him in third, scoring his maiden DTM podium finish, with Timo Scheider finishing in fourth.
Martin Tomczyk finished fifth, but only after causing a safety car after his second pitstop. He left the pits with his fuel can still attached to his car, but it soon detached itself onto the track.
After the restart Gary Paffett took seventh position from Miguel Molina. The Briton had started at the back of the grid, but made his way up into eighth after the first round of stops. He remained stuck behind the Spaniard until the restart when he ran wide. Molina would then get spun around by fellow Audi driver Oliver Jarvis.
Paffett ended the race in sixth place after getting past Maro Engel, with fellow Brit Jamie Green also finding a way through past the German for seventh. Engel finished eighth, ahead of Jarvis and David Coulthard, who escaped a collision with Renger van der Zande that led the Dutch debutant into retirement.
“I am very happy and I am looking forward to celebrating together with my team today,” said Spengler. “The start of the season is already very good, but there are still many races to come and one has to remain realistic.”
Race results after 38 laps:
|Pos.||Driver / Entrant||Team||Car||Time/Gap|
|1.||Bruno Spengler||HWA||Mercedes C-Klasse||1:03:07.244|
|2.||Mattias EkstrÃ¶m||Abt||Audi A4 DTM||+3.696|
|3.||Ralf Schumacher||HWA||Mercedes C-Klasse||+3.883|
|4.||Timo Scheider||Abt||Audi A4 DTM||+4.585|
|5.||Martin Tomczyk||Phoenix||Audi A4 DTM||+5.256|
|6.||Gary Paffett||HWA||Mercedes C-Klasse||+6.591|
|7.||Jamie Green||HWA||Mercedes C-Klasse||+10.653|
|8.||Maro Engel||Mucke||Mercedes C-Klasse||+11.938|
|9.||Oliver Jarvis||Abt||Audi A4 DTM||+13.803|
|10.||David Coulthard||Mucke||Mercedes C-Klasse||+14.246|
|11.||Mike Rockenfeller||Abt||Audi A4 DTM||+16.164|
|12.||Susie Stoddart||Persson||Mercedes C-Klasse||+16.488|
|13.||Christian Vietoris||Persson||Mercedes C-Klasse||+17.310|
|14.||Edoardo Mortara||Rosberg||Audi A4 DTM||+18.341|
|15.||Rahel Frey||Phoenix||Audi A4 DTM||+25.944|
|16.||Miguel Molina||Abt||Audi A4 DTM||+28.420|
|17.||Filipe Albuquerque||Rosberg||Audi A4 DTM||+29.011|
|18.||Renger van der Zande||Persson||Mercedes C-Klasse||+8 laps|