When Bruno Spengler lines up for the 2011 DTM season at the wheel of the AMG Mercedes C-Class, he will begin his ninth season as a Mercedes-Benz driver and his seventh as a Mercedes DTM racer.
Mercedes-Benz and Bruno Spengler first worked together eight years ago when he was recruited into the Mercedes-Benz Young Driver Programme for the 2003 Formula 3 Euroseries. A serious testing accident left him sidelined for the first six rounds of the year but, in just his second race back, Spengler took his Dallara Mercedes to a third-place podium finish at Le Mans. His combination of talent and fighting spirit set the mould for what was to follow, as he grew with Mercedes to become one of the stars of the DTM.
Following his series debut in 2005, Spengler graduated to the HWA works Mercedes-Benz team for 2006. His first win came that year at the Norisring, when he became one of the youngest winners in the championship’s history at just 22 years and 334 days old. Three more victories followed that year, on the way to a runner-up spot in the championship. He mounted another strong title challenge in 2007, taking one race win and again claiming second place in the championship. Further top-five finishes in the standings followed in 2008 and 2009.
Last season, a hard-fought title battle went right down to the wire, and Spengler was firmly in the hunt until the final race in Shanghai. The crown was ultimately claimed by his Mercedes-Benz team-mate Paul Di Resta, a fellow graduate of the Young Driver Programme, with Spengler finishing third overall. For 2011, Bruno will be aiming to add to his career total of seven DTM wins and mount another strong championship challenge.
Bruno Spengler: “I am delighted to be starting my seventh DTM season with Mercedes-Benz. During the winter, I spent nearly a month in Canada recharging my batteries and preparing for the new season. There’s never a guarantee of success in motorsport, especially in such a closely fought series as DTM, but I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got this year and, together with my team, we’ll be pushing all the way.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “At 27 years old, Bruno Spengler is still a young driver – but he’s already a ‘veteran’ with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport in the very best sense of the word. Bruno gets better every year, and 2011 will mark our ninth year working together. We began back in 2003, when Bruno joined our Formula 3 Junior Programme but immediately suffered an extremely serious testing accident that could, at worst, have meant the end of his career. However, Bruno kept faith in us, and we in him, and that made the joy and satisfaction of his successes after his recovery all the sweeter. Today, he is one of the highest-profile and most successful DTM competitors, but also one of the nicest drivers in the field – and a favourite with the fans. There is still much that Mercedes-Benz Motorsport and Bruno want to achieve together, in order to celebrate a relationship that has now lasted nearly ten years.”
Source: Daimler AG