Bruno Spengler kept up the pressure on Gary Paffett in the race for the DTM title with a commanding victory for BMW at the Nurburgring. The Canadian started from pole position, was a second ahead by the end of the first lap, and maintained his relentless pace to take a 6.7-second victory in his Schnitzer Motorsport-run M3.
Spengler's win was his second since joining BMW during the winter and the 11th of his career. It also moved him into second place in the championship, 20 points behind Paffett, who finished sixth.
Just as Spengler led for most of the race, so Edoardo Mortara held second for the majority of the laps, the Rosberg Audi driver easing away from his pursuers after the first round of pit stops.
Mike Rockenfeller sat on Mortara's tail for the opening stint of the race, but was passed by champion Martin Tomczyk shortly after the first round of stops - the RMG BMW man completing a move on the Phoenix Audi at Turn 3 that he had started two corners earlier. Tomczyk completed the podium.
Rockenfeller was demoted a further spot by Jamie Green at the second round of pit stops, with the HWA driver Mercedes' best finisher at the Nurburgring.
Paffett might have made it by Rockenfeller at this point as well, but he lost three seconds at his second tyre stop when his HWA crew had a problem attaching a right-rear wheel. The Briton, who moved up from 11th to seventh on the opening lap, had passed Robert Wickens at Turn 1 just after the Canadian had exited the pits from his first stop. The Mucke Mercedes driver sat just behind Paffett for the remaining 37 laps to finish a career-best seventh.
Mortara's teammate Filipe Albuquerque made a terrible start from third on the grid and ended the first lap in 10th. But some clever strategy, good pitwork and a cracking out lap enabled him to pass Timo Scheider's Abt Audi and the RBM BMW of Augusto Farfus for eighth at the final stops.
Adrien Tambay and Christian Vietoris were both hit with drive-through penalties for spinning, respectively, Miguel Molina and Andy Priaulx.
David Coulthard meanwhile spun exiting Turn 5 during the middle sector of the race, having earlier made contact with Roberto Merhi that resulted in the Spaniard driving into the side of Susie Wolff and spinning his Persson Mercedes teammate around.
Results - 49 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 1h11m12.847s
2. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi + 6.703s
3. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW + 10.802s
4. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes + 22.019s
5. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi + 23.054s
6. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes + 23.765s
7. Robert Wickens Mucke Mercedes + 25.041s
8. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi + 29.601s
9. Timo Scheider Abt Audi + 30.422s
10. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW + 33.686s
11. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi + 35.436s
12. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW + 40.828s
13. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes + 42.526s
14. Rahel Frey Abt Audi + 43.105s
15. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi + 46.558s
16. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes + 53.240s
17. Susie Wolff Persson Mercedes + 1m09.036s
18. Joey Hand RMG BMW + 1m12.214s
19. Andy Priaulx RBM BMW + 1m25.739s
20. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes + 1 lap
Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 14 laps
Roberto Merhi Persson Mercedes 9 laps