Mercedes-Benz Most Successful Brand in DTM Race in Munich’s Olympic Stadium
Jamie Green, Mercedes AMG C-Coupé & Ralf Schumacher took home a win on Saturday in the first DTM Team Relay Competition
by Jim Davis | 16 July 2012
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Jamie Green, driver of a Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, and Ralf Schumacher took home a victory on Saturday in the first DTM Team Relay Competition. On Sunday, Green finished second, Gary Paffet, driver of the THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, finished third, both overtaken by Audi driver Mattias Ekström who finished first.
The weather played a major role on Sunday, with rain showers and a damp track adding significantly to the excitement of the race. In the quarter finals, a mere 90 thousandths of a second separated the Audi A5 DTM of Swedish driver Mattias Ekström and the BMW M3 DTM of reigning DTM champion, Martin Tomczyk from Germany. In the end, Tomczyk was defeated in front of his home crowd. In the semi-final, Ekström beat British Mercedes driver Paffett while Green made his way into the final with a tiny margin over Bruno Spengler (BMW). “A slight error cost me victory,” Spengler explained.
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished in second place in the DTM individual competition at Munich’s Olympic Stadium. The Norisring winner lost out to Mattias Ekström (Audi) in the final two races, run over six laps each time. Two Mercedes-Benz drivers progressed through to the semi-finals – Green and championship leader Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé). Paffett was joint third with Bruno Spengler (BMW).
On the first day of racing on Saturday, Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), currently placed second in the championship, won the inaugural team competition. Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) were third. Positions 1 and 3 were the best possible result in accordance with the regulations which state that no single manufacturer may finish in P1 and 2. A total of 45,000 spectators attended the DTM race in Munich on Saturday and Sunday.
The Format: After the team competition on Saturday, all 22 DTM drivers took part in the individual competition on Sunday. Championship leader Gary Paffett and the top three drivers from each manufacturer in the DTM drivers’ championship received a bye and did not race until the heat for the final sixteen (for Mercedes-Benz that was, apart from Paffett, Jamie Green, Christian Vietoris and David Coulthard). The preliminary heat and heats for the final sixteen were run over four laps. Starting with the quarter finals, the race distance was over six laps, which included a mandatory pit stop. The winner was determined in the final in two runs.
Preliminary Round: Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) won his race against Timo Scheider (Audi), who raced in the finals of the team competition on Saturday, one and a half seconds ahead. Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) won the next duel against Joey Hand (BMW) by three-tenths, but did not go through to the quarterfinals because of a subsequent one-second time penalty. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) were eliminated in their respective races against Miguel Molina and Adrien Tambay (both Audi).
Round of 16: Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) beat Rahel Frey (Audi) in the first round by six seconds. In the second round, David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) got the jump on Molina with a 0.062-second lead. Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) won against Audi driver Filipe Albuquerque by 1.2 seconds. Robert Wickens and Christian Vietoris were eliminated in their races against Martin Tomczyk and Augusto Farfus (both BMW).
Quarter-finals: The quarter-final races took place on a wet track after intermittent showers of rain. Paffett beat his Mercedes-Benz team-mate Coulthard in the first round by just eight-tenths of a second. Green won his quarter-final heat against Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) three-tenths ahead.
Semi-finals: Paffett lost to Mattias Ekström (Audi) in the first of the semi-finals and so finished joint third with Bruno Spengler (BMW) in the individual standings. Green secured a place in the final in a thrilling duel against Spengler.
Final: Rain began to fall again before the start of the final. Green won the first of two runs against Mattias Ekström (Audi) by just under two seconds. In the second run, however, the Swedish driver beat Green to win the individual competition.
Comments on Sunday:
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Second:
“Too bad that we didn’t achieve an outright win in the final, but I’m satisfied with second place and winning the team competition on Saturday. My first final run was good, but conditions were tough on the second run and I lost some time during the pit stop into the bargain. It was an exciting race, and the crowds braved the rain and cheered us in the stands – they deserve a special mention.”
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Third:
“Third place twice, in the team competition and then in the individual contest, plus the relay victory for Ralf and Jamie yesterday and Jamie’s second place today – yes, it was a very successful weekend for Mercedes-Benz in Munich. Of course, I would really have loved to have won, but the track on my side was slightly wetter than on Mattias Ekström’s. But still, I’ll be going into the summer break and the next race at the Nürburgring with a real sense of achievement. Even after the rain, the track afforded a surprising amount of grip and we had plenty of speed – it was a whole lot of fun!”
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Quarter-finals:
“The track was very slippery and conditions difficult after the rain. Gary was faster in our race and won. I hope the fans in the stands had a lot of fun, despite the bad weather. Well, anyway, I enjoyed myself in the cockpit.”
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), Round of 16:
“I felt very much at ease on the circuit in the Olympic Stadium. I proved that on Saturday by securing third place in the team competition with Gary. I got away to a good start again today, but unfortunately, didn’t manage to finish ahead on my track, since it was probably a little slower compared to the other.”
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Round of 16:
“It’s nice to have got this far, but unfortunately, the competition is now over for me. Martin Tomczyk had fresh tyres and mine were used, which made the difference. Overall, it’s been a very successful weekend for Mercedes-Benz, and that should give us some extra motivation for the second half of the season.”
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Preliminary Round:
“I’m a bit disappointed because I had planned to do more on this second day. The start is run over such a short distance and is particularly important, given that the field is so evenly matched. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be my day. Now I’ll be focusing on the forthcoming race at the Nürburgring.”
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Preliminary Round:
“Too bad, after winning the team event along with Jamie, I was hoping for more today in the individual competition. Unfortunately, my side of the track was still a little damp and I had the disadvantage of having run out of fresh tyres, because I was in the finals yesterday. Nevertheless, I’ve had a lot of fun this weekend racing here at the Munich Olympic Stadium and after Saturday’s successful outcome, I’m looking forward even more to the next race at the Nürburgring.”
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Preliminary Round:
“Unfortunately, I exited the individual competition after the first round. Although I would obviously have liked to have progressed further, I took the opportunity to enjoy the competition along with the fans in the Munich Olympic Stadium, and cheered on my team-mates. It was a very successful event as far as being a mere spectator goes.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“A very successful weekend for Mercedes-Benz with the best possible result, first and third in the Manufacturers’ competition on Saturday and second and third place for Jamie Green and Gary Paffett in the Drivers’ competition on Sunday.
Two of the four drivers in the semi-finals were Mercedes drivers and a win was definitely in the offing, since Jamie Green was the clear leader in the final with the fastest laps on both tracks and the best pit stops – the die was cast, however, when Jamie was slowed down by a stalled engine when coming back out after his second pit stop. So, congratulations to Mattias Ekström and Audi on a well-deserved victory in the final.
The DTM race at the Munich Olympic Stadium will also be remembered for a terrific crowd who stuck it out in today’s rain and had plenty of fun and saw lots of thrilling action. Coverage by television, radio, print and electronic media has been very comprehensive and positive, which shows that the DTM in the stadium is well accepted.
Many thanks to all the teams, of all the competitors who made this possible, to the ITR, the DMSB and partners of the Olympic Park. This great event is the result of their joint, cooperative efforts.”