BMW back at the Nuremberg rostrum after 25 years
Photo and report Willem J. Staat
After 25 years BMW was back at the Norisring rostrum. Canadian Bruno Spengler took a convincing win in R1 on Saturday with his RBM BMW M4. After 4 years Spengler returned to the rostrum as he won for the last time at Red Bull Ring in 2013. For Spengler it meant his 15th DTM win and his fourth at the Norisring. In 2006 he won there for the first time with Mercedes Benz. Bruno Spengler I fought some hard battles and I”ll never gave up. Under changeable weather conditions Spengler did beat his teammate Maxime Martin at the start whilst Audi’S René Rast also came offline slowly. Mercedes drivers Maro Engel and Robert Wickens went off in the early stages of the race. Accelerating out of the pits Rast moved too quickly over the yellow lines and got a drive through which robbed him off his first position at the championship standings. His teammate Mattias Ekström finished 3rd after a good battle with Maxime Martin though did not any risks because of the point standings as he is now leading the championship. The second race was full of action and dramas.
The race had to be interrupted by the red flag for 30 minutes after a big crash between Mike Rockenfeller and Gary Paffett. Both Paffett and Green made slight contact. A move which had dramatic consequences. The out of control Mercedes hit Mike Rockenfeller’s Audi at the famous Grundigbend resulting in the “Big One”. Both Paffett and Rockenfeller could leave their cars on their own power but were sent to Hospital at the South of Nuremberg for medical check ups. Rockenfeller broke a metatarsal bone in his feet. It was good to see that both drivers took care of each other after the crash. “We are bound together for the rest of our lives” joked Paffett in the Nuremberg dailies.
After the restart the race became a real thriller with Belgian Maxime Martin and Lucas Auer fighting for the win. They swapped the lead twice and finally the Belgian BMW driver took the win, whilst teammate Edoardo Mortara snatched 3d at an incredible finish in which he did beat both Red Bull men Ekström and Wittmann at the line. The European F3 races were being won by Maximilian Günther, Lando Norris and Jehan Daravula. The first ever Indian winner. The German Porsche Cup races were being taken by Briton Nick Yellolly and Dennis Olsen from Norway. The Audi TT Cup was being won twice by Spaniard Mike Azcona.