Exciting races in Nuremberg in front of dream crowd; Winkelhock takes victory for Opel, Schneider for Marcedes-Benz. The third event of the new DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) was motor- sport as its best, with breathtaking racing on the 2.3...
Exciting races in Nuremberg in front of dream crowd; Winkelhock takes victory for Opel, Schneider for Marcedes-Benz.
The third event of the new DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) was motor- sport as its best, with breathtaking racing on the 2.3 km Norisring street circuit in front of 74,000 spectators. Pole position qualifier, Joachim Winkelhock won the first race in his Holzer Racing Opel Astra V8 Coupe. It was Winkelhock's fourth DTM victory and his second on the Norisring. "I really gave everything, from the first lap to the last", he said.
The second race was won by 1995 DTM Champion Bernd Schneider, helped by the tactical thinking of his D2 AMG Mercedes-Team. Like most of his rivals, Schneider started the race on rain tyres. As the track dried he was first to change to slicks and doing so he took the lead from Winkel- hock and kept it until the finish. Schneider: "Not only did we change tyres at exactly the right moment, my crew also were the fastest in only 9.2 seconds."
"This was another great day in DTM history, the drivers put on a graet show," said Mercedes sportchief Norbert Haug. Volker Strycek, Opel sport chief said: "Two 44 lap races of pure action made it a fantastic day for the DTM and the fans."
With his win, Schneider took the lead in the drivers championship from Manuel Reuter of Opel Team Phoenix. Both drivers arrived at Norisring with equal points but after today's races Reuter, the ITC Champion of 1996, is three points behind Schneider. "The setup of my Astra was optimised for a dry track, that's why I lost time in the rain", said Reuter. After finishing second and third, three-times DTM-champion Klaus Ludwig is now third in the standings.
The Abt-Sportsline Team was unable to match its qualifying performance, with 11th place on the grid for Christian Abt in the Abt Audi TT-R. Gearbox problems in the first race for Abt and Laurent Aiello meant that only Kris Nissen started the second race. <pre> Result 1st race:
1. Winkelhock, Opel, 44 laps in 38:41.920 minutes (=156.905 kph) 2. Ludwig, Mercedes-Benz, 5.893 sec. behind, 3. Reuter, Opel, 6.090 sec. behind, 4. Schneider, Mercedes-Benz, 7.952 sec. behind, 5. Bartels, Opel, 8.192 sec. behind.
1. Schneider, 44 laps in 40:36.772 minutes (=149.509 kph), 2. Reuter, 14.865 sec. behind, 3. Ludwig, 15.777 sec., 4. Winkelhock, 21.990 sec., 5. Bartels, 40.302 sec. behind.
1. Schneider 82, 2. Reuter 79, 3. Winkelhock 67, 4. Faessler 48, Ludwig 34.