Former F1 racer Ralf Schumacher has scored a maiden DTM podium with third at Hockenheim as Mercedes team-mate Bruno Spengler kicked off the 2011 season with a victory.

Poleman Spengler was never under threat for the win, commanding the race from pole to triumph by 3.6 seconds. The Canadian also scored fastest lap to complete a perfect weekend in Germany. Audi’s Mattias Ekstrom took second.

Ralf meanwhile converted third on the grid to the same position at the flag, though a lockup on the final lap left him sweating under pressure from Timo Scheider.

Photo: www.DTM.com

Now in this fourth season of DTM action, today’s result represents Ralf’s first podium finish in the touring car series. The six-time F1 race winner has broken his duck at the 33rd time of asking, having taken only three races to land his first grand prix podium.

Elsewhere McLaren tester and former DTM champ Gary Paffett battled from 18th on the grid to sixth at the flag whilst F1 commentator David Coulthard came home tenth as he begins his second season of DTM. Fellow Brits Jamie Green (Mercedes) and Oliver Jarvis (Audi) were seventh and ninth respectively.