52 laps of the 3.478km counter-clockwise Euro Speedway in Lausitz saw a dominant victory from lights to flag from Mercedes-Benz’s lead title challenger, Gary Paffett. The Bromley driver took the advantage from pole sitter Christian Vietoris, as Stuttgart made the most of its front-row lock out from qualifying the previous day. Mike Rockenfeller secured a great result in second place, which pushed him into leading the series with Bruno Spengler on 59 points. Vietoris, however, had to settle for the final spot of the podium after a measured and mature performance.
BMW drivers Marco Wittmann, Andy Priaulx, Joey Hand and Martin Tomczyk were all given 10 place grid penalties, due to farc-perme conditions being breached, which nevertheless would not change their grid places.
Paffett was clearly untouchable, as he led from lights out to chequered flag, with his EURONICS Mercedes-Benz AMG C-Class Coupe was well-planted, meaning that the British driver would be back in the fray for the title hunt, where BMW really did struggle, as defending champion and last year’s winner Spengler was put under intense pressure from Audi’s Mattias Ekstrom up to the final time across the finish line, but finished in P7.
The Franco-Canadian showed his displeasure via a certain gesture towards the Swede, after contact during the drag race to the finish line was clearly made, as BMW suffered its worse weekend this season, as the majority of its drivers were at the tail end of the field. Not the result Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt was wanting, especially with the fact that Mercedes-Benz secured its first win since Jamie Green’s 4th win at the Norisring last season, and continued its streak at the East German track, just 130 kilometres from Berlin.
DRS was not playing that much of a part during the longest zone of the races this season, as the drivers could not make it work to their advantage. Martin Tomczyk’s season was again to take a turn for the worse, as he was spun out by Team RMG teammate Andy Priaulx, who had a penalty for jumping the start.
Green was the second highest-placed Audi driver, as the Brit was in contention for a podium finish, but settled for a great composed drive to finish in P5 behind Robert Wickens, with Mercedes’ Dani Juncadella securing his first points of his DTM career, having passed Spengler and Edoardo Mortara to finish in P6. Roberto Merhi secured his first point on the year in P10, behind Mortara, who was showing some good pace in his RS5 DTM, with the Team Rosberg driver having a better turn of luck in P9.
BMW Motorsport have shown that it doesn’t go their way all the time, as Augusto Farfus, Dirk Werner, Timo Glock and Joey Hand finished P12, P13, P14 and P15 after starting from the lower part of the field, as Marco Wittmann and Priaulx were one lap down after the chequered flag was waved. Timo Scheider was to suffer another poor result, as the two-time champion had no real pace or answer, finishing in P20. His teammate, Adrien Tambay, was battling hard to get himself into the points for the first time this season, but had to settle for a credible 11th place, even though the French driver was potentially able to get into the top ten, but it was not to be.
Paffett now is properly in the hunt to chase another title, as he is currently in 3rd in the standing with 47 points, as the Norisring beckons on four weeks’ time. Could we see another winner on the streets of Nuremberg? We’ll have to wait to find out…