DTM Valencia 2011: Race - Bruno Spengler second in the standings before final race

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) finished in the penultimate race of the season contested in Valencia in seventh position. The race was won by Mattias Ekström (Audi). Spengler has 51 points in the drivers’ standings and goes into the grand finale in Hockenheim on 23rd October in second position. Martin Tomczyk (Audi) clinched the drivers’ championship in Valencia with one race still left on the calendar.

Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) and David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home in fifth and sixth place. After qualifying in Valencia, race stewards handed down a penalty to both Coulthard and van der Zande for running rear wings that allegedly did not conform to regulations. Their teams have lodged an appeal – the two drivers were allowed to start from their original grid positions, but for the moment, their results will not stand.

Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished eighth, Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) was tenth, Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), Christian Vietoris (Young Stars AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished in P11, 12 and 13. Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) was 15th.

Across the race weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), a total of 16,000 spectators visited the Valencia circuit to watch the DTM race.

Race summary

The start: David Coulthard and Renger van der Zande defend their starting positions three and four. Jamie Green moves up from P11 to P8 on the opening lap. Bruno Spengler goes up two places, from 12th to 10th.
Lap 11: The pit stop window is now open. Coulthard is the first C-Class driver to come in. Susie Stoddart also makes her first mandatory pit stop.
Lap 12: Van der Zande, Jamie Green and Christian Vietoris come into the pits.
Lap 16: Spengler pits for the first time.
Lap 17: First pit stop for Gary Paffett.
Lap 18: Ralf Schumacher completes his first mandatory pit stop.
Lap 19: Maro Engel is the last C-Class driver to make his first pit stop.
Lap 24: Second pit stop for Bruno Spengler. He reemerges ahead of Edoardo Mortara (Audi).
Lap 25: Paffett and Vietoris change tyres for the second time.
Lap 26: Second mandatory pit stop for Stoddart, Green and Coulthard.
Lap 27: Van der Zande pits for the second time and returns to the track before Coulthard.
Lap 30: Paffett overtakes Mortara (Audi), moving into eleventh place.
Final lap (Lap 45): After 45 laps and some 180.22 km, Renger van der Zande and David Coulthard finish in P5 and P6 - but their positions won’t count in the standings for the moment. Bruno Spengler and Gary Paffett come home in seventh and eighth place.

Comments after the race:

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) – seventh:
“This was unfortunately not the championship outcome that we had wanted, but we didn’t lose the title today – that happened much earlier. Congratulations to Martin Tomczyk and Phoenix-Audi – they deserved to win. It was a tough race. We fought hard and the guys did a very good job – pit stops went perfectly, enabling me to move up a position, but more was not possible. My team gave their all, but it wasn’t enough to win the title, it’s a pity. Many thanks to the guys for their brilliant support. We now intend finishing the season with a win at our home race in Hockenheim. I’m a fighter and will push hard again next year.”

Gary Paffett (AMG Mercedes C THOMAS SABO-Class) – eighth:
“The C-Class drove really well today. Although Bruno is no longer able to win the title, we still have one more race ahead of us, and we intend to go back on the attack. From a personal point of view, I’ve had a difficult season, but as a team, we’ve done a good job. Though at the end of the day, Audi have finished on top. I’d like to congratulate Martin Tomczyk on a well-deserved title win. It’s all the more to his credit that he put in such a great performance in an old car.”

Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) – tenth:
“The start was good, and the speed of the C-Class promised a lot for the race. Unfortunately, I got stuck in traffic early on and wasn’t able to show my true potential. Now I’m focusing on Hockenheim and hoping that I’m able to pick up points again.”

Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 11th:
“Starting from last on the grid didn’t exactly make for an easy race. Even so, I managed to keep up with my team-mates. I got the maximum out of the C-Class today and hope that I can put in another good performance at Hockenheim. I feel so sorry for Bruno that things didn’t work out for him in his title challenge.”

Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 12th:
“This was a very tough race. Our starting position on the grid wasn’t easy, but we did our best. I wasn’t able to improve my position during the race, unfortunately – I'm of course very disappointed not to have finished in the points.”

Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 13th:
“That was not an easy race for us drivers today. I would have like to have finished further up the field, but it just wasn’t possible. My focus is now on the final race of the season at Hockenheim where I intend to lay on a great show for our fans in the Motodrom and the Mercedes grandstand.”

Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 15th:
“From a motor racing perspective, this year’s Valencia weekend wasn’t the best for me: P15 in both qualifying and the race are not satisfactory results as far as I am concerned. So I’m looking forward all the more to the closing race at Hockenheim where I recorded by best ever DTM result in 2009. I’d very much like to put in a repeat performance in the last race of the season.”

Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) – not classified:
“I’m satisfied with where I finished in the race itself. I’m pleased that I was able to put in such a strong performance in Valencia. The heat made it a difficult race, but I gave it everything I’d got. It’s a shame for Bruno and Mercedes-Benz that the championship is now over. Although nobody will be battling it out for the title at Hockenheim, we’ll be on the attack and aiming to cheer up our fans with a decent result in our home race.”

David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) – not classified:
“That was a tough race but enjoyable – it was a lot of fun fighting with the other guys at the front of the field. Shame that Bruno now has no chance of taking the championship; he’s had a terrific season and would have made a worthy winner. The same applies to Martin Tomczyk – well done, but next year we want to bring the championship back to Stuttgart. Season finale in Hockenheim, where I once again intend putting on a good show for our fans in the Motodrom and in the Mercedes stand.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“Congratulations to Martin Tomczyk and Phoenix Audi on winning the championship. Things didn’t work out for us as we would have hoped in the last three races, so we were unable to repeat our title win of last year. Now we are looking forward to the grand finale at Hockenheim where we intend to win the last race to be contested under the existing rules.

Bruno drove well throughout the season, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t to be. Without the retirement in the previous race at Oschersleben caused by a defective shock absorber, I feel sure the title race would not have been decided ahead of the final weekend. Many thanks to all our team members for their hard work and dedication this season. We remain fully motivated for the last race of the season at Hockenheim.”

Source: Daimler AG

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