Spengler Claims DTM Victory at the Norisring as Ekström takes championship lead


Credit: BMW Motorsport

Bruno Spengler continued his fine form of pace he has discovered this weekend in the DTM Series to take his first win since Spielberg back in 2013 and also BMW‘s first at the Norisring since 1992.

In addition, this is the first BMW victory of the season and marks the Bavarian manufacturer’s 25th win since their return to DTM back in 2012.

Joining the Canadian on the podium was polesitter Maxime Martin to complete the 20th one-two for BMW in the series.

Mattias Ekströwas the only non-BMW in the top five, as he stood on the third step of the podium after starting the race in sixth, this result catapults the Swede to the top of the championship standings.

Prior to the start of the race a heavy shower hit the track which lead to a wet start – two formation laps followed by a standing start.

Martin had been slow away from pole position tumbling down to fourth in the order, whereas Ekström got an excellent start from the third row to find himself in second at Turn 1.

When the Belgian finally got past the Audi driver on lap nine, Spengler was already 5.7 seconds ahead.

It was a difficult race for the drivers in changeable conditions which saw the slick tyres be bolted on, around lap 20.

Spengler struggled on his slicks on a still damp track for the first few laps which saw Martin and Ekström home in on him to make it a trio of cars out front.

Once he was in the rhythm Spengler pulled away from the chasing pair leaving Martin and Ekström to battle it out until the finish.

With six laps remaining the Audi driver slipstreamed past the BMW on the run into Turn 1 but was unable to make the corner without understeering, handing the position back to Martin.

Despite the availability of the DRS Ekström could not find a way past the BMW and had to settle for third, but with it the lead of the championship.

Rene Rast had been running in fourth place, until he was given a drive-through penalty for crossing the yellow line on pit-exit which saw him end up 12th.

This elevated Marco Wittmann to fourth place at his home race, with a podium finish still eluding him there.

BMW Team RMR stablemates Timo Glock and  Tom Blomqvist made it five BMW’s in the top six – the sixth BMW of Augusto Farfus was forced to retire with technical issues after eleven laps.

Edoardo Mortara, having just lost fourth place to Wittmann, was punted into a spin by Mike Rockenfeller handing the latter a drive-through penalty.

Mr Norisring, Jamie Green, won the battle between himself and the recovering Mortara for seventh place.

At the scene of his first DTM victory last season Nico Muller came home in ninth place.

Gary Paffett pipped Paul di Resta and a resurgent Rast to the final point.

After a disastrous weekend at the HungaroringLucas Auer had been hoping to get his championship challenge back underway, but after first lap bumping and barging the Austrian had to retire along with Robert Wickens.

The third practice session of the weekend takes place at 11.40 CEST, followed by the second qualfying at 14.00 CEST and the eighth race of the 2017 DTM season starts at 17.23 CEST.