Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) won the fifth DTM race of the 2012 season in Nuremberg by a margin of 0.687 seconds, after overtaking Martin Tomczyk (BMW) in spectacular style on the latest corner at the final lap.
This was Green’s eighth victory in his DTM career and his fourth at the Norisring, i.e. half of his winner’s trophies have been collected at this one venue (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012). It was also the Englishman’s 19th podium in 79 DTM outings.
The Norisring fixture has proved to be the most productive on the race calendar for Mercedes-Benz. Green’s latest win was also the 15th for Mercedes on this street circuit in Nuremberg and the tenth in succession. Since the DTM series was revived in the year 2000, Mercedes-Benz drivers have won twelve out of 14 races staged at the Norisring (a win rate of 85.71%). Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz has now won 168 DTM races since first fielding a works team in 1988.
By finishing fourth, Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) has boosted his championship points tally to 95 and further consolidated his lead in the standings to 26 points ahead of second-placed Jamie Green. Paffett’s THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank outfit leads the team standings on 119 points, while Mercedes-Benz tops the constructors’ standings on 211 points.
A total of five C-Coupé drivers finished in the Top 10; apart from Green and Paffett, David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) and Robert Wickens (stern AMG Mercedes C-Coupé) secured positions five, eight and nine respectively. Coulthard and Wickens achieved their best ever result so far in the DTM.
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) was 13th, Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) did not finish.
Jamie Green produced the fastest race lap, 54.451 seconds. For race winner Green, this was the 13th fastest lap in his DTM career and his third this season. Since 1988, Mercedes-Benz drivers have posted the fastest lap in some 165 races, including 16 at the Norisring.
The start: The race begins on a wet track with two installation laps. Gary Paffett defends his pole position at the start but spins as a result of being rear-ended in a chain reaction going into the first turn and drops down the field to P22. Ralf Schumacher benefits from the situation and takes the lead. The safety car is out.
Lap 3: The safety car comes into the pits. Schumacher leads the race at the re-start. Jamie Green in P4, Christian Vietoris P5.
Lap 5: David Coulthard moves up into seventh position.
Lap 12: Schumacher extends his lead to 1.3 seconds. Paffett battles his way up the field into P15.
Lap 15: Paffett in P14 posts fastest lap so far.
Lap 17: Schumacher drops down to fourth place. Green moves up to third.
Lap 19: Susie Wolff is rear-ended by Adrien Tambay (Audi) and spins. She subsequently retires to the pits. Tambay is given a drive-through penalty for causing a collision that could have been avoided.
Lap 21: The pit stop window is now open.
Lap 23: Paffett goes up into tenth place and is now back in a points-scoring position.
Lap 28: Six C-Coupé drivers in the Top Ten – Green, Schumacher, Vietoris, Coulthard, Wickens and Paffett.
Lap 30: Lap 30: First mandatory pit stop for Vietoris.
Lap 32: Roberto Merhi, Green and Wickens come in for their first pit stop.
Lap 35: Coulthard pits from P7 to change tyres.
Lap 36: Edoardo Mortara (Audi) causes Merhi to spin.
Lap 40: Schumacher comes in for his first mandatory pit stop. Paffett now leads.
Lap 45: Schumacher has to retire in the pits.
Lap 53: Second mandatory pit stop for Green.
Lap 56: Paffett pits from lead position for his first mandatory stop.
Lap 58: Paffett overtakes Vietoris and moves into P2.
Lap 59: Vietoris pits for a second time to change to dry tyres. Wickens also comes in for his last set of tyres.
Lap 61: Coulthard and Paffett change tyres for second time. Paffett reemerges behind Green in P4.
Lap 75: Green overtakes Bruno Spengler (BMW) and is in second place.
Final lap: Jamie Green overtakes Martin Tomczyk (BMW) at the final turn and after 78 laps and a total distance of 179.400 kilometres wins the fifth race of the season at the Norisring. Gary Paffett comes home fourth just ahead of David Coulthard.
Comments after the race:
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Winner:
„My tyres were giving excellent grip on the last ten laps and my pace was very strong. My Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was running superbly, and I was grinning from ear to ear on those last few laps. At the end of an amazingly exciting race, I capped it all off by overtaking Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk. I am absolutely delighted about this win. It’s my fourth on this track and also the tenth on the trot for Mercedes-Benz at the Norisring. So a fantastic day all round.“
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Fourth:
„Congratulations to Jamie and Mercedes-Benz on their victory in this action-packed race. I got off to a good start but was rear-ended and so fell right back down the field. I was able to battle my way up into fourth place during the race which was brilliant, especially since I have now extended my lead in the championship.“
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Fifth:
„Fifth place is a decent result for me. The fastest driver wins at this track and that was unfortunately not me today but nevertheless, I would like to congratulate Jamie on his fourth win at this circuit! That was truly an outstanding performance! As a team too, we achieved good results overall, especially in view of the difficult conditions.“
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), Eighth:
„I had a good race today, though the second pit stop was not brilliant. We took a bit of a risk and switched to slicks. Unfortunately, the rain came down harder after that, but the decision was the right one because if the rain had held off, then the strategy would have worked well.“
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Ninth:
„I am immensely pleased to have scored my first DTM points. For a time, I was actually running fifth in the race, but then my tyres started to degrade and I dropped back to ninth. Even so, I’m very happy with my best DTM result to date, and I’m optimistic that further points will follow during the rest of this season.“
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 13th:
„Today’s race was totally mad and the conditions were very tricky for everyone. I got away well at the start but unfortunately was hit by another driver subsequently during the race. I’m now looking forward to the show event in Munich’s Olympic Stadium which should be terrific for both drivers and spectators.“
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), retired:
„What a pity, since the race began really well for me. I was in the lead, had a very good race pace and maintained P1 despite the tricky conditions here at the Norisring. Unfortunately, we had a technical problem and I had to retire – that can happen. An excellent result was a distinct possibility today, though.“
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), retired:
„Unfortunately, my race came to an early end. I sustained damage to the front axle, right-side. An Audi driver then made me spin. I’m obviously very disappointed because a better result was on the cards, both in qualifying and in the race itself.“
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„What a thriller – final lap, final corner, and Jamie Green finally nails it, victory! It’s the fourth time that Jamie has won here and the tenth consecutive year for our team, giving us twelve wins from the last 14 events.
The race started in the rain without a safety car, as I had feared, leading to a traffic jam on the first hairpin and a BMW driver who caused a chain reaction that saw the best-placed Audi, driven by Mattias Ekström, exiting the race and the race leader and championship leader Gary Paffett sent into a spin and consequently falling back to the very rear of the field. That Gary then still went on to finish fourth just shows his spectacular speed.
And Jamie had plenty of pace! What a stunning drive, especially on the last ten laps of what is our tenth victory in a row.
Ralf Schumacher was a prime candidate for a win until problems with electrics slowed him down. David Coulthard went up from P14 to 5, and we had five Mercedes AMG Coupés in the top nine places at the finish.
I would like to thank everyone in the crew; they have all worked really well and cut the mustard in fine style against strong opposition from BMW and Audi.
We’ll be doing a little celebrating tonight. We all deserve it.“
Text: Mercedes AMG / Pictures: MBpassion