Bernd Schneider Wins Schneider started second on the grid and was second after the opening lap. Jean Alesi was third followed by Christijan Albers who improved from ninth to fourth on lap one. Gary Paffett was fifth. Schneider followed leader ...
Bernd Schneider Wins
Schneider started second on the grid and was second after the opening lap. Jean Alesi was third followed by Christijan Albers who improved from ninth to fourth on lap one. Gary Paffett was fifth. Schneider followed leader Tomczyk with a gap of less than 1sec.
Alesi and Albers both made their first pit stops on lap six with Schneider and Paffett pitting on lap seven. Schneider resumed short behind Tomczyk. On lap 13, the Mercedes driver overtook the Audi at the hairpin. After Ekström's pit stop on lap 14 Schneider took the lead and remained in front also after his second pitstop on lap 16.
On lap 29, he made a mistake under braking at the entrance of the Parabolika and went wide allowing Tomczyk to reduce the gap to less than a second. Finally, Schneider won with a margin of 1.6sec.
Paffett made his second pit stop on lap 16, Alesi followed one lap later and Albers pitted for the second time on lap 18. Paffett overtook Alesi on lap 27 to take third place which he maintained until the chequered flag. Later the Frenchman had to defend his position against Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM) and Ekström.
At the last corner on the final lap, the Swede pushed Alesi off the track so that Kristensen could take fourth place. Alesi finished fifth ahead of Ekström, Albers came home seventh.
Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes:
"I thank all fans who kept their fingers crossed for me. It was great fun to drive and win here today. I'm happy for my team about this fantastic end of the season."
Gary Paffett, C-Klasse AMG-Mercedes:
"My four wins this year and the second place in the championship are a great success at the end of a tough season. Now I look forward to next year when I want to fight for the title again."
Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes:
"A fine and fair race which unfortunately ended with an unnecessary action which cost me fourth place. I'm happy for Bernd who drove an excellent race today."
Christijan Albers, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes:
"I was not fast enough throughout the weekend. However, I missed the chance for the runner-up position already at Brno two weeks ago. Congratulation to Gary on a great and consistent season."
Stefan Mücke, CLK AMG-Mercedes came home 10th and was the best driver with a last year's car. Markus Winkelhock, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes had a flat spotted tyre in the final stages of the race and ended up 13th. Bernd Mayländer, CLK AMG-Mercedes finished 14th after losing time during his first pit stop because the left rear wheel nut broke.
Jarek Janis, Sonax Dark Dog AMG-Mercedes made a mistake under braking when he tried to overtake Jeroen Bleekemolen and collided with the Dutchman's car. Both drivers retired with severely damaged cars.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"A great and hard fought victory for Bernd. I'm happy about his success at the end of a tough season for him. He did everything right today and ran his race perfectly. A fine result for Gary, who - on the track - won most of the races and clinched the runner-up position. It's nice to win the last race in front of a record crowd."
"Congratulations to the entire team headed by Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jürgen Mattheis who contributed significantly to this success with great effort and the right strategy. With 22 points we scored our second best result of the year after Norisring today. The more than 130,000 spectators watched exciting sport and first-class entertainment. We thank everybody who have worked for the great success of the DTM this year."