DTM-driver Michael Bartels wins 24-hour race on the Nordschleife Countdown towards the DTM-race at the rebuilt Sachsenring is running
Stuttgart. Exactly three weeks before the fourth round of the DTM at the Sachsenring, June 15 till 17, Opel-driver Michael Bartels has won the legendary 24-hour race at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife, together with former DTM-driver Pedro Lamy (Mercedes) and Zakspeed team boss Peter Zakowski, driving a Viper GTS-R. "An excellent motivation for the next DTM-round", says Bartels. "Even more so, as the Sachsenring is something like a mini-Nordschleife, with its up- and down-parts, fast sections and tricky corners. I have not yet driven at the Sachsenring after it was changed, but reportedly, it has become even more interesting than it was already."
Michael Bartels had won the endurance event already last year, then together with current Mercedes-DTM-driver Uwe Alzen. Just like Bartels, many members of the DTM-fraternity used the four weeks DTM-break for a participation in the Eifel, and not just the drivers. Opel's motorsport boss Volker Strycek shared an Opel Astra OPC with DTM-racer Timo Scheider and Stefan Kissling, they finished in 21st place. 22-year old Abt-Audi-driver Mattias Ekstrom came home in sixth place after his debut on the Nordschleife with his team, that also included DSF-DTM-commentator Burkhard Bechtel. ARD-expert Ellen Lohr, a former DTM-driver herself, was also successful, finishing ninth. Lohr's ARD-colleague Frank Klaas, who is a live-commentator during the DTM-qualifyingand also conducts the interviews in the DTM-pit lane, made it to the finish in tenth place. Olaf Manthey (Eschmann-Stahl AMG Mercedes) knows the Nordschleife as his back yard and has already taken part several times in the 24-hour classic. Manthey finished 17th, driving a Porsche 996 GT3-MR.
Abt-Audi-driver Christian Abt didn't make it to the finish at the Nordschleife, but is all the more looking forward to the Sachsenring: "This absolutely is my favourite track. I am convinced that we will be strong there with our car!" Nordschleife-winner Michael Bartels is also upbeat for the DTM-round in Saxony. His goal with the Opel Astra V8 Coupe: "A place within the top ten!"