Maiden victory for Mike Rockenfeller at Zandvoort
He had to wait for this victory quite long. In his 44th DTM race, Mike Rockenfeller scored his maiden victory. The 27-year old Audi driver from the German village of Neuwied started from third place on the grid into the second round of the 2011 DTM season at Zandvoort in The Netherlands, showed an error-free race with a perfect pit stop strategy and crossed the finish line as the winner after 41 laps. “I am relieved. Hockenheim was very frustrating after a good qualifying and the poor race. Fortunately, we have found the problem and solved it. The result was a good qualifying and a great race. Today, the foundation was the start, plus two excellent stops and a good pace”, an overjoyed Rockenfeller said.
Points’ leader Bruno Spengler with the AMG Mercedes C-Class finished second in the first foreign round of the current DTM season. Spengler started from pole position, but lost his first place after the first of two mandatory pit stops. At the finish, he just stayed ahead of third-placed Martin Tomczyk with his Audi A4 DTM in a fascinating battle. “Unfortunately, we have given victory away. Up to the first stop, the pace was good and I was able to pull clear from Mike. After the stop, however, Mike was ahead of me and wasn’t able to follow him anymore. Nevertheless, it isn’t a bad day. Finishing second at Zandvoort is something I haven’t achieved so far”, said Spengler, who won the season opener at Hockenheim and was able to extend his points’ lead in the overall standings.
In third place, Martin Tomczyk became the best-placed driver of a 2008-spec car and thrilled the spectators with spirited attacks and overtaking maneuvers. His efforts were rewarded. In the points’ standings, he is currently third behind Rockenfeller.
British driver Jamie Green lost his second place at the start and was also overtaken by Tomczyk during the race. The Mercedes-Benz driver finished fourth ahead of two times’ DTM champion Timo Scheider (Audi). Audi driver Edoardo Mortara from Italy already scored his first-ever championship points by finishing sixth in his second race. He was followed by Maro Engel (Mercedes-Benz) and Mattias Ekström with the Audi A4 DTM. The Swede started 16th and still scored one point by finishing eighth.
The third DTM race weekend of the year takes place at Spielberg in Austria from June 3rd till 5th .
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Rocky drove a dominant race and I am very happy for him. We were already optimistic before the race and it was our goal to win at Zandvoort. Martin also had a great speed. And great that Edoardo already scored points in his second race. That was a great performance by the team and all in all, our pace was good.”
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Today, Audi’s pace was good. But losing here wasn’t necessary. We have won ten out of the last 13 races and one can’t win every time. Had we made the pit stop for Bruno one lap earlier, we would have won. But second place is quite okay.”
Results - 41 laps:
||Renger van der Zande