Since the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters made its début at Moscow Raceway back in 2013, BMW’s Bruno Spengler has hit the podium an impressive five times in the last four years, but has yet to reach the top step at the 3.931-km circuit.
The Team RBM driver was embroiled in an action-packed battle with stablemate and defending champion Marco Wittmann, along with the Audi Sport pair of René Rast and Jamie Green, ending up snatching the last step on the rostrum on the final turn of the penultimate lap.
“I love Russia and my brother lives here, so it feels a little bit like home, so overall a great day,” said the 2012 champion, who started from pole position ahead of Mattias Ekström.
“We were already good in qualifying, having taken P2, so a great car there on the new tyres. [I was] Very happy and the team did a good job to improve the car from yesterday to today and I have to thank them a lot. My engineer did great improving the car for today.”
Spengler, who took a win at the Norisring and another third place finish earlier this season, felt that he was initially able to pull a gap early in proceedings, but felt that degradation was more than expected, especially if the Safety Car had not been dispatched during the race itself.
“Both Mattias [Ekström] and Paul [di Resta) were catching up and having a better race pace than me, as the tyres had already started to degrade.
“If it would have been a normal race, I would probably have struggled to get into the top two or a podium would have been possible, but top three would have been difficult. Still, when I saw the Safety Car, this was really bad luck for us, but then it was a case of trying to see what we could pull out of it.
“But we stopped at the right moment, the team did great for that and then I was pushing, pushing, pushing as much as I could to catch up with the field out in front of me. Then at the end, I was close to them and it was a great fight. To watch this race on TV was probably a lot of fun and to drive in the race was a lot of fun as well. It was a cool DTM race today.”
The Canadian now moves up to ninth in the standings on equal points with Gary Paffett, with Spengler classed as being ahead of the Briton, due to his race win and podiums secured so far this season.