Maxime Martin ended the DTM Norisring round on a high after finishing second in race 1 and first on race 2. The BMW driver is now third on the standings with 78 points, behind Lucas Auer with 87 points and Mattias Ekstrom with 89 points.
During race 1 on Saturday, it was Bruno Spengler who claimed the win in his BMW M4 DTM. The first win for the Canadian driver since 2013, and his 15th in DTM. An overjoyed Spengler said, “The start was mega good. Now, I will enjoy that. The car was strong, irrespective of the conditions. Every victory is something special and today, it felt like my maiden win.”
He finished ahead of fellow BMW driver Maxime Martin and Audi’s Mattias Ekstrom. Two good finishes at Norisring for Eki and Martin allowed them to move up the standings. BMW drivers Marco Wittmann, Timo Glock and Tom Blomqvist finished fourth to sixth to mark a strong outing by the Munich based car maker.
Mercedes had a tough outing on day 1 and Edoardo Mortara was the best placed AMG driver in eighth place after getting tapped by Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller who later incurred a drive through penalty before finishing 13th. Robert Wickens retired on the first lap.
In race 2 on Sunday, Martin crossed the finish line first ahead of Lucas Auer, ending a bad first race for Mercedes teams with a podium win. Third place went to another Mercedes driver, Edoardo Mortara. Ekstrom finished fourth to extend his lead in the championship over Auer by 2 points.
“Today, I had a challenging time. My start wasn’t great. Unfortunately, I was slightly tapped by Marco Wittmann in the final corner and I dropped to fourth. It was a nice weekend with plenty of entertainment and many points. Too bad that I didn’t score a win, but at least I am in the lead of the drivers’ standings.” Ekstrom said.
Race 2 had a number of incidents which prompted the intervention of the safety car twice. First was during a clash between Rene Rast and Robert Wickens after the two made contact. The two cars tangled after Wickens’ Mercedes pushed Rast who was already sideways in his Audi.
The safety car exited on lap 30 but had to intervene again four laps later when Jamie Green’s Audi made contact with Gary Paffett’s Mercedes. Paffett crashed hard at the barriers before sliding across the track, where he met Rockenfeller and hit him from the side. The Mercedes driver walked away unhurt but Rockenfeller suffered a small fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his left foot.
25 minutes after the Armco barriers were repaired, the track was green again and this time Auer passed Martin for the lead. Unfortunately, the Mercedes driver suffered a muscle cramp on his foot, too painful he had to brake with his right leg. Martin thus reclaimed the lead. Auer would then cross the line in second place ahead of Mortara, Ekstrom, Wittmann, Paul Di Resta, Augusto Farfus and Jamie Green.
The next race will take place in Moscow on July 21.