DTM Hockenheim –Analysis part 2
The 2009 DTM season opener at the Hockenheimring proved to be a race that will be remembered for a long time. Audi dominated the race action at the front end of the field and Mercedes-Benz were left out to dry. The start into the race was turbulent. Following a collision on lap one, the bonnet of Gary Paffett’s AMG Mercedes C-Class was airborne and hit the roof of his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Ralf Schumacher that was massively deformed, following the incident. And with just two more laps to go, the Audi supporters suddenly had to hold their breath when witnessing that the DTM driver who had dominated the entire DTM weekend wouldn’t be rewarded for his outstanding performance. Race leader Mattias Ekström suffered a puncture and consequently had to settle for finishing seventh. DTM.com took a close look at the performance of all the 20 Audi and Mercedes-Benz drivers to analyse and rate them.
Tomas Kostka (19/16/18/11): Tomas delivered a solid DTM debut. By finishing 11th he realised the most important goal – to make it to the finish line. Furthermore, he defeated his direct rivals, Seidlitz and Bakkerud, in both the qualifying session and the race
Katherine Legge (10/13/12/12): Katherine’s season kick-off for her new team, Abt Sportsline, was an eventful one. In the practice sessions and the race she delivered on a clearly higher level than last year and consequently secured 13th position on the grid. Her start, however, was rather poor and at the end of lap one she had dropped back to 17th. The fans will remember her tough battle with Susie Stoddart for a long time. For the race control, however, a collision with Ralf Schumacher that was caused by the 28-year old was of bigger importance and she received a drive-thru penalty. Following countless battles her car was seriously damaged and she trudged to the finish to come 12th.
Johannes Seidlitz (20/18/20/13): The youngest DTM driver of all times delivered in solid style, in the 2009 season kick-off at Hockenheim. It goes without saying that you couldn’t expect him to work wonders. But he made it to the finish line – and finishing 13th wasn’t too bad.
Christian Bakkerud (18/17/19/14): On his debut weekend in DTM, Christian delivered particularly in the race. From his 17th grid position, the Dane worked his way up to ninth. Consequently, a top-ten finish would have been possible but a drive-thru penalty for pit-lane speeding during his second pit stop cost him dearly.
Martin Tomczyk (3/3/6/-): Martin seemed to be on the way to experiencing a perfect season kick-off – having qualified third represented a promising initial position. But when he stalled the engine right at the start and dropped back to ninth, his hopes of securing a fine result were virtually over. And the drama continued: during a pit stop, a wheel nut locked and later in the race, an electronics failure forced Martin into early retirement. A weekend to forget.
Bruno Spengler (14/19/2/-): Bruno also encountered a disastrous weekend. In the qualifying session he had to make do with finishing 19th – a major disappointment. The reason: his fastest lap that was fast enough to easily advance to Q2 was disallowed by the race control as the Canadian had gone over a restricted area marked red. Therefore, he made a second effort but stranded without fuel. In the race he displayed a lot of fighting spirit and gained position by position – but had to retire on lap 24 due to a damage his car had suffered in an incident at the start.
Susie Stoddart (16/14/16/-): From her 14th position on the grid Susie made a good start and at the end of lap one she had worked her way up to 10th. At the exit of the hairpin, however, her AMG Mercedes C-Class also was hit by Paffett’s flying bonnet. On lap 24, the consequences of this incident forced her to return to the pits and retire.
Mike Rockenfeller (7/10/5/-): Rocky’s start into the new season was anything but good. On Saturday he struggled for a long time with set-up problems and therefore had to settle for qualifying 10th. He made a poor start and later on lap one, he was torpedoed by Green in the hairpin – and his season kick-off appearance was over. Another race to forget!
Alexandre Prémat (9/9/11/-): Alexandre’s race also ended far earlier than he had hoped. From his ninth position on the grid he quickly worked his way up to eighth but in the hairpin, he was hit by Paffett. The result: a broken rear-wheel suspension forcing him into early retirement.
Gary Paffett (4/11/10/-): A screwed up comeback as HWA driver. Like his team-mates, Gary’s encountered a partly difficult qualifying session. Nonetheless, limiting the losses would have been possible from his 11th position on the grid but in the collision with Prémat the Briton lost his bonnet. An incident that also made disastrous impact on the races of Schumacher and Stoddart. Expect him to do better at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz!