In an eleven round calendar, there can be no way to write a round-up based on the season at it’s half way point, unless we do so at half way through the Dutch race at Zandvoort, and let’s face it – that’s not sensible. So here is the TCF’s “Almost Half Way Through the Season” round-up of what’s been happening in the 2010 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters.
The current championship standings show that the DTM is a series with a strong international pedigree. Within the top ten in the standings, there are a mere three German’s present, with the best placed being reigning champion Timo Scheider down in sixth place.
A Canadian, three Brits and a Swede all feature higher Scheider in the standings, with two more Germans, another Brit and a Frenchman all taking their place in the top ten.
Bruno Spengler sits atop the standings, with a clear points advantage over the chasing pack.
Spengler has enjoyed victory at two rounds of the season so far, both at Lausitz, as well as last time out at the NÃ¼rburgring.
Bolstering his points haul are two second place finishes in the first two rounds of the year, at Hockenheim and Valencia.
In claiming the 42-points he has to his name, Spengler’s lowest finishing position thus far has been third at the Norisring.
Jamie Green is currently placed second in the championship.
The young Brit has 26-points to his name, some 16-points adrift of Spengler, and a single point ahead of compatriots, Gary Paffett and Paul di Resta.
For the second year running, Green was victorious at the Norisring, adding to a couple of third places at Hockenheim and Lausitz.
Behind Green, Paffett and di Resta are tied on 25-points apiece.
Of the pair di Resta’s points have been harder to come by, with Paffett benefiting from a victory in the season opener at Hockenheim back in April.
Audi driver, and double champion, Mattias EkstrÃ¶m, returned to winning ways when the series visited Valencia.
Prior to Valencia, the Swede had not tasted victory since the French round of the series at Le Mans in 2008.
Perhaps the most disappointed of all the drivers is Timo Scheider. Having claimed the DTM crown in both 2008 and 2009, the young German sits a lowly sixth in the standings, and a seemingly massive 25-points off Spengler, with only 17-points to his name.
Mercedes-Benz are the clearly dominant force thus far in 2010, a magnificent 1-2-3-4 result for Mercedes in the season opener, was more than complimented by a 1-2-3 at the NÃ¼rburgring event.
In terms of race wins, Paffett’s victory at Hockenheim has been followed up by Green at the Norisring, and Spengler’s successes at Lausitz and the NÃ¼rburgring.
Audi’s only success to-date in 2010, came in Spain, when EkstrÃ¶m delivered the win in which he also scored one of his, and Audi’s, two pole position of the year. The other came at the NÃ¼rburgring.
Mercedes have locked out the top spot in qualifying at every other race this season, with Paffett at Hockenheim, di Resta at Lausitz, and Ralf Schumacher claiming his maiden pole position at the Norisring.
Despite being in a very healthy position at the top of the standings with two race wins to his name, Bruno Spengler has yet to qualify on pole this season.
The Teams classification only re-enforces this, with the top three in the standings all being Mercedes’ teams.
The Salzgitter AMG Mercedes team leads the way with 67-points. The lead Audi outfit is Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, with 27-points to their name.
There are six rounds of the championship remaining in 2010, so nothing is concrete by any means.
However, Spengler’s large margin at this stage of the season, tied with the more-than-impressive performance of the Mercedes cars, can only serve to suggest that if both keep on-top of their game, the title could be heading to a non-German driver for the first time since 2007.