Closely fought race in the Lausitz: many overtaking manoeuvres Scotsman Dumbreck wins, Abt-junior Ekstrom from 19th to third Opel result worse than deserved
EuroSpeedway Lausitz. In an action-packed race with countless overtaking manoeuvres, seven stop and go penalties and a safety car phase, Peter Dumbreck won the first DTM-race of his career with the Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM. In the sixth round of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), the Scotsman, living in Wiesbaden, demoted his team colleague, reigning champion Bernd Schneider, to second. Dumbreck is already the fifth different winner from six different races. Swedish driver Mattias Ekstrom, only 23 years old, was third in the Abt-Audi TT-R. He started 19th following an accident in the qualifying race.
At the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, 45,000 spectators watched a race which was full of position fights. Peter Dumbreck for instance drove from fourth to first, after already having made up three positions in the qualifying race. His good tactic also gave him an edge over team mate Schneider: Dumbreck came back on the track in front of Schneider after the mandatory pit stop. "It was a perfect day for me", said a happy Dumbreck after the race. "This is the biggest success of my career."
For Abt-driver Mattias Ekstrom, the 23 laps were even more turbulent: only ninth in qualifying, he made it into the top five in the qualifying race, but then had to abandon early, because he had damaged the rear of his car while clipping the wall. Thus, he had to start from 19th place for the main race. With a charging driving style, however, he still managed to make it up to the podium, which was thought impossible before. The second Abt-junior also showed a good performance. Martin Tomczyk improved from 22nd to finish sixth. Team boss Hans-Jurgen Abt: "I am proud of my youngster."
Uwe Alzen left the race track a disappointed man. Following pole position and victory in the qualifying race, the main race was luckless for him. Finally, he had to park his car in the pits with a technical problem. Earlier on, he had already lost valuable positions during the safety-car phase. The safety car had come out on the track, because Alain Menu had lost the bonnet and further bodywork parts from his Opel Astra V8 Coupe on the track following a collision.
Opel once more didn't receive the rewards for its hard work. Third-qualified Alain Menu already spun off the track on the first lap of the qualifying race. A few corners later, Michael Bartels, who had started sixth, suffered the same fate. Thus, it was eventually down to Manuel Reuter to do the job. After temporarily dropping back also, he still managed to climb up to seventh place. His comment: "It could have been more for Opel. Saturday's good qualifying result has shown that our V8 Coupe is competitive."
1. Peter Dumbreck (Mercedes) 42:19.096 2. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes) 0.664 behind 3. Mattias Ekstrom (Abt-Audi) 9.010 4. Thomas Jager (Mercedes) 13.105 5. Patrick Huisman (Mercedes) 19.734 6. Martin Tomczyk (Abt-Audi) 21.735 7. Manuel Reuter (Opel) 23.092 8. Marcel Fassler (Mercedes) 23.784 9. Darren Turner (Mercedes) 27.142 10.David Saelens (Mercedes) 28.675
1. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes) 108 points 2. Peter Dumbreck (Mercedes) 65 3. Marcel Fassler (Mercedes) 54 4. Uwe Alzen (Mercedes) 47 5. Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi) 37 6. Thomas Jager (Mercedes) 32 7. Mattias Ekstrom (Abt-Audi) 30 Patrick Huisman (Mercedes) 30 9. Marcel Tiemann (Mercedes) 26 10.Martin Tomczyk (Abt-Audi) 23