After Tagliani ran out of gas on a drying track late in the June race, he swapped his rain tires for slicks and went on an incredible five-lap charge from 22nd to second at the finish in his first race in the No. 22. One of the drivers he barged past was Elliott, who was not pleased that a driver who was only doing a couple of races would run roughshod over a championship contender.
By the Numbers: Canadian Bruno Spengler established another record for a North American driver in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters Series on Sunday when he started his 100th race at the Nurburgring.
Unfortunately, it was a weekend to forget for the 31-year-old who struggled in qualifying and started 17th on the grid. Spengler looked to have the pace to grab a top-10 points-paying finish in the race, but his Schnitzer team left his pitstop too late and the strategy mistake cost him a few places. He ended up 12th.
“We will have to put this race behind us quickly and concentrate on the remaining three rounds. BMW Team Schnitzer has been through a tough time,” he said, referring to the death of one of the team founders, Dieter Lamm, last week at the age of 59.
“Despite the disappointing result today, I am proud of the team.”
The St-Hippolyte, Que., native is already the first North American to score a pole and a win in the highly competitive German touring car series, and he remains the only non-European to take the season championship, a feat he accomplished in 2012.
Since joining DTM in 2005, Spengler has also scored more podiums (38) and poles (16) than any other driver. He is also second in wins scored since 2005. Among active drivers in DTM, Spengler is first in fastest race laps with 16.
The only other non-European drivers to win in DTM are Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto, who raced in the old Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft between 1988 and 1992, BMW’s Augusto Farfus, of Brazil, who has four victories since entering DTM in 2012, and two-time winner Robert Wickens, of Guelph, Ont., who is in his third season with Mercedes.
The 2014 season hasn’t been hugely successful for Spengler, who has just two podiums and no wins in seven races. He is fifth in points with three races left in the 10-stop season.
Technically Speaking: Although the outcome of a meeting of the newly formed DTM Drivers’ Association at the Nurburgring on Thursday came too late to help Robert Wickens in his battle with the stewards two weeks ago, it was a bit of a vindication for the Canadian.
The driver association announced that its members would voluntarily change their behaviour in the pitlane in the wake of Wickens’ disqualification in Austria on Aug. 3 for not serving a drive-thru penalty. The association decided that they would leave room when exiting their pitboxes when a car is already in the fast lane and when there is any doubt, the driver behind will brake accordingly because they have a better overview of the situation.
Mercedes driver Wickens was assessed a highly questionable penalty in the race in Austria on after he and BMW’s Timo Glock went side-by-side in the pitlane. Wickens’ team released him a split second after Glock and the pair ended up together, but there was no contact between the two. Glock, who was behind by a metre, yielded just as two rejoined the race.
In the same pit sequence, Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein left his pitbox and hit another car after his tire stop and was not given a penalty until after the race. His punishment was being pushed back three-places on the grid for Sunday’s race at the Nurburgring.