Bruno Spengler opened the DTM season with a commanding victory from pole position at Hockenheim.
The HWA Mercedes driver controlled the race from the front and led every lap on his way to an eighth career win and an early championship lead. Behind him, the top four finished just as they qualified with Mattias Ekstrom, Ralf Schumacher and Timo Scheider following the Canadian home.
The last lap proved dramatic. First Spengler's team-mate Schumacher locked up under braking for the Mercedes Arena and had to defend robustly from Scheider's Abt Audi. Then Ekstrom slowed through the final two corners with a rear suspension problem and - after beating Schumacher to the runner-up spot by a tenth of a second – pulled his Audi straight off the track.
Schumacher's third place represented his first podium finish in the DTM while Scheider was fourth.
Martin Tomczyk finished fifth and was the highest-placed of the drivers of older-spec machinery. The German nearly had a massive effect on the outcome of the race, however, when he left his pit after his second stop with a fuel can still attached to his car.
The can fell off his Phoenix Audi between Turns 1 and 2, necessitating the deployment of the safety car, which failed to pick up the leaders initially.
After starting 18th, Gary Paffett made it up to eighth place before his second stop, but became stuck behind Miguel Molina's 2008-spec Abt Audi. He finally passed the Spaniard into Turn 2 after the safety car pulled in and then got by Maro Engel for sixth before the end. Paffett's HWA teammate Jamie Green also passed Engel's Mucke Mercedes before the end as the pair rounded out the points finishers in seventh and eighth.
Oliver Jarvis finished ninth in his Abt Audi, but not before he spun his teammate Molina at the exit of the Spitzkehre hairpin on lap 28. Molina had run wide on entry to the corner as he attempted to re-pass Paffett. That allowed David Coulthard (Mucke) to complete the top 10.
Results - 38 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Bruno Spengler HWA Mercedes 1h03m07.244s
2. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi + 3.696s
3. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes + 3.883s
4. Timo Scheider Abt Audi + 4.585s
5. Martin Tomczyk Phoenix Audi + 5.256s
6. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes + 6.591s
7. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes + 10.653s
8. Maro Engel Mucke Mercedes + 11.938s
9. Oliver Jarvis Abt Audi + 13.803s
10. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes + 14.246s
11. Mike Rockenfeller Abt Audi + 16.164s
12. Susie Stoddart Persson Mercedes + 16.488s
13. Christian Vietoris Persson Mercedes + 17.310s
14. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi + 18.341s
15. Rahel Frey Phoenix Audi + 25.944s
16. Miguel Molina Abt Audi + 28.420s
17. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi + 29.011s
Renger van der Zande Persson Mercedes 30 laps