Harald Bloche - Motorsport.com
Bernd Schneider and Mercedes-Benz dominant in the wet with a fourfold victory in both races - Reuter best Opel driver.
Nurburgring. At half time of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) Mercedes-Benz has a clear advantage over Opel in both of the two rain- races at the 4.556 km Nurburgring Grand Prix track, the Stuttgart squad achieved an identical result: Bernd Schneider (D2 AMG Mercedes) won with a dominant advantage over his fellow-Mercedes-drivers Klaus Ludwig, Marcel Fassler (both Warsteiner AMG Mercedes) and Pedro Lamy (24 Stunden Service AMG Mercedes). Schneider, 36, extends his lead in the DTM, while Ludwig moved up into second place in the championship, ahead of best Opel-driver Manuel Reuter (Opel Team Phoenix).
Reuter, who was successful with a double victory in Oschersleben at the beginning of the season, finished fifth in both races. "Yesterday, on a dry track, my V8 Coupe was excellent and this morning I was really looking forward to some exciting fights. But in the rain, we couldn't keep the pace. Too bad, but it is an extra motivation for me." Double winner Schneider was overjoyed: "With pole position, fastest race laps and two wins, it was just perfect. My car was like a dream, the Dunlop tyres had a super performance in the rain."
Mercedes Sport director Norbert Haug:"We simply had the best package here. Of course, the experience of 10 years' co-operation between Hans Werner Aufrecht and Mercedes-Benz also pays off. Next to the extraordinary class of Bernd Schneider and the fine performance of Klaus Ludwig, the effort of Marcel Fassler and Pedro Lamy have impressed me, too." More than 40,000 spectators (total number of spectators during the weekend: 57,000) witnessed two races, which were marked by exciting position fights in the midfield. Young Swiss driver Fassler, for example, made it all the way up from eleventh place to finish third.
Opel sport director Volker Strycek concluded: "Congatulations to Mercedes -Benz. Yesterday, we were also competetive in the rain and we now will try to find out quickly, why our cars were so hard to drive in the wet today. Even when it sounds rediculous: Manuel Reuter's fifth places were quite good, because he has made the best out of this difficult situation. But we will not give up challenging Mercedes."
The Abt-team, now with four Abt-Audi TT-R for the remainder of the season, showed a sensational performance. In the first race, Laurent Aiello just missed out on scoring the first championship points: he finished eleventh from his British team mate James Thompson."This result is a new motivation for the entire team", said team director Hans Jurgen Abt.
The next round of the DTM will be taking place at the brand-new EuroSpeedway Lausitz, September 3.