DTM Lausitzring – Hakkinen wins amid chaos

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DTM Laustizring 2007, startMika Hakkinen took his second DTM victory after a chaotic race at the Lausitzring.

A safety car period in the middle of the race threw the running order up in the air but the Finnish twice World Champion prevailed.

Behind him an inspired Paul di Resta finished second to take the championship lead in his rookie season – despite driving a two year-old car.

Bruno Spengler started from pole position but fell to fourth after a poor start as Hakkinen surged ahead. Spengler recovered to take second back from di Resta.

But it was an incident between Mathias Lauda and Markus Winklehock (the Spyker F1 tester substituting for Tom Kristensen) brought out the safety car – and defined the race.

The race organisers took a long time to bring out the safety car but surprisingly few drivers took the chance to make an early pit stop and capitalise. It wasn’t until the safety car was out that cars began streaming into the pits and wreaking havoc with the running order.

Once the race restarted a tight battle began between Gary Paffett, Christian Abt and returnee Alexandre Premat. It ended in tears for Premat who suffered a second big crash as he hit the back of Paffett’s car on the straight. Repays suggested that Paffett’s defence might have been a little too robust.

Shortly afterwards the safety car was out again to clear the debris from the Premat crash, allowing di Resta to catch Hakkinen – although it took over a lap for the safety car driver to find the leader.

At the restart Hakkinen got away cleanly again, and he and di Resta held station with Spengler third. But Mattias Ekstrom lost fourth place when he was called in for an extra pit stop.

The top three finished in that order. Ekstrom’s late stop promoted Bernd Schneider to fourth and Timo Scheider was Audi’s best finished in fifth.

Jamie Green and Lauda were sixth and seventh ahead of Paffett. The 2005 champion had dragged his damaged Mercedes to the finish and benefited from Abt’s brush with the wall that forced him to retire.

Astonishingly this means Paul di Resta now leads the champions ahead of his home race at Brands Hatch in three weeks’ time. He has 20 points with Ekstrom, Paffett and Martin Tomcyk tied on 12. Winner Hakkinen has 10, as does Schneider.

Mercedes’ new C-Class may have won its first race – but it’s di Resta’s two year-old car that leads the way for now.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories Bernd Schneider, Gary Paffett, Markus Winkelhock, Mika Hakkinen, Paul di Resta

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