Drama until the final second: Alzen wins just ahead of Abt
Zandvoort. There was absolutely no lack of drama in this race, and especially not on the last lap, when Uwe Alzen with his Mercedes-Benz CLK overtook the fastest qualifier and erstwhile race leader Christian Abt with the Abt-Audi TT-R in a breathtaking fight and crossed the finish line as the race winner. After the Norisring in Nuremberg, it was Uwe Alzen's second DTM-victory of the season. Bernd Schneider, who secured the title early in the previous round at the A1-Ring, came third. 40,000 spectators attended the first-ever DTM-race at the Dutch dune track in Zandvoort. Local hero Patrick Huisman finished fourth.
"The final lap of the race was one of my best ever", said Uwe Alzen. "The fight with Christian was hard but fair. Finally, I had the edge in accelerating and I am totally happy." Fastest qualifier Christian Abt said: "Of course, it hurts a little bit having lost out on possibly my first DTM- victory by a small margin like that. Unfortunately, I lost four seconds in an overtaking manoeuvre, and these were the four seconds I missed in the end. I regret that I ran into the back of Uwe's car after the finish. All of a sudden, he braked in front of his pit box. My car started swerving, then I hit him."
With his victory, Uwe Alzen strengthened his second place in the championship, although he still lacks one point. It was more helpful to him that his main rival, Frenchman Laurent Aiello, retired after a curious accident. Abt Sportsline just had completed Aiello's mandatory pit stop. The Frenchman drove to the pitlane exit, as Peter Dumbreck with the Mercedes-Benz CLK drove off just in front of his car. In the collision, the front flipper of the Abt-Audi came loose and on the following lap, Aiello landed in the gravel trap. Team boss Hans-Jurgen Abt: "Without the front flipper, he lacked the necessary downforce. Too bad, as Laurent was in a good position in the race."
Opel-junior Timo Scheider, just 22 years old, had a great fight in the Opel Astra V8 Coupe with 25-year old Swiss driver Marcel Fassler. Fassler finished fifth, Scheider came sixth. "I made up from 17th on the grid to sixth place and I am proud of it", said Scheider. "We have shown here once more, that the Opel Astra is more competitive in the race than in qualifying. I am looking forward to the final round of the DTM at Hockenheim, as we are racing on the long track there, which suits our car." Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek analysed: "Without the two time penalties that Manuel Reuter got for speeding in the pitlane, a podium finish would have been possible for him. And Alain Menu drove the second fastest lap of the race. That makes us happy."
One minute silence before the start apply for donations into the DTM aid fund
Out of respect for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the USA, one minute silence was kept during the starting grid procedure. Furthermore, the DTM participates in an aid fund of the German Red Cross for the survivors of the rescue workers, who lost their lives during duty in the USA. Furthermore, the DTM-organisation ITR has decided to cancel its traditional end of season party and make a donation of 500,000 DM to the DTM aid fund. The profit of the co-drives in race cars, which were sold in Zandvoort, will go into the fund.
The bank account is: Deutsches Rotes Kreuz, Bank fur Sozialwirtschaft, Account no. 41 41 41, Bank code no. 370 205 00, mention: DTM-Hilfsfond.
1. Uwe Alzen (Mercedes) 43:57.311 minutes 2. Christian Abt (Abt-Audi) 0,322 seconds behind 3. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes) 0.681 4. Patrick Huisman (Mercedes) 2.290 5. Marcel Fassler (Mercedes) 12.177 6. Timo Scheider (Opel) 17.513 7. Peter Dumbreck (Mercedes) 20.543 8. Darren Turner (Mercedes) 20.933 9. David Saelens (Mercedes) 21.559 10. Michael Bartels (Opel) 25.159
Championship points (after nine of ten rounds):
1. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes) 149 points 2. Uwe Alzen (Mercedes) 97 3. Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi) 75 4. Peter Dumbreck (Mercedes) 72 5. Marcel Fassler (Mercedes) 68 6. Patrick Huisman (Mercedes) 60 7. Thomas Jager (Mercedes) 42 8. Mattias Ekstrom (Abt-Audi) 32 9. Christian Abt (Abt-Audi) 29 10. Marcel Tiemann (Mercedes) 26