DTM

Norisring: Mercedes-Benz race report

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) finished second in the fifth round of the 2002 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring. After 44 dramatic laps the decision came in the final corner when championship leader Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) passed the ...

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) finished second in the fifth round of the 2002 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring. After 44 dramatic laps the decision came in the final corner when championship leader Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) passed the defending champion to win with a margin of 0.1sec. For 126,000 spectators this was the highlight of an exciting sports weekend which saw the German Football team clinching runner-up position in the World Cup earlier - to be seen on giant TV screens at the track.

Nuremberg, Jun 30, 2002 Qualification race (14 laps = 32.200 km): Uwe Alzen who had qualified fourth finished second behind winner Mattias Ekström (Abt-Audi TT-R). Schneider, third in Qualifying with the same time as Alzen, came home third and Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) was fifth. The Safety Car was deployed from lap 2 to lap 6 following a collision involving Marcel Fässler (Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes), Patrick Huisman (CEB AMG-Mercedes), Timo Scheider (Opel Astra V8 Coupé) and Karl Wendlinger (Abt-Audi TT-R). The race was shortened from 15 to 14 laps after the given time of 15min was over.

Main event (44 laps = 101.200 km): Bernd Schneider was fastest at the start but after the first corner Uwe Alzen took the lead. Bernd re-passed him on lap 6 and seven laps later, Uwe came to the pits because of a stop-and-go penalty following a jump start.

On lap 17, Bernd came into the pits for his compulsory tyre change and maintained the lead ahead of Aiello and Ekström. The second half of the 44 laps were marked by the dramatic and fair battle between Bernd and Aiello when both crossed the finish line several times door by door. Bernd maintained the lead until the final corner when Aiello went through on the inside line and won.

Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, Bernd Schneider: "It was an incredibly exciting race. My fight with Laurent was great fun, it was hard but always fair. When I came out of the S-corner to the Dutzendteich hairpin, I was sure to have seen a yellow flag which caused me to brake earlier and Aiello was able to pass me on the inside line."

AMG-Mercedes, Jean Alesi was fourth both in the qualification and the main race: "I'm satisfied with my first race at the Norisring. My car was competitive, however I was just not fast enough to catch up with the leaders."

Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, Uwe Alzen came home fifth after his penalty. "When I put in first gear, the car moved a little bit but stopped again immediately. In the drivers' briefing it had been mentioned that in a case like this there should be no penalty." Marcel Fässler was not able to start the main event after his car had been damaged in the collision in the qualification race.

Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, Peter Dumbreck finished ninth. Thomas Jäger hit the wall in the S-corner on lap four and as a consequence touched Joachim Winkelhock's Opel and retired.

Oase AMG-Mercedes, Bernd Mayländer came home 11th in the qualification race and finished eighth in the main event.

CEB AMG-Mercedes, Patrick Huisman had to start from the back of the grid after the incident in the qualification race and ended up tenth.

Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, Stefan Mücke retired on lap 4 from eighth position. He had been involved in the collision between Jäger and Winkelhock damaging his right front suspension. Christijan Albers finished sixth and was the best driver with a 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM.

Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz motorsport director: "This was great motor sport and the most exciting DTM race ever seen at the Norisring. Bernd Schneider and Laurent Aiello drove an excellent and fair race which was a perfect promotion for touring car racing. Both drivers can see themselves as winners. Bernd said that he had seen yellow flags at the last corner on the final lap. Anyway, he can be satisfied with his performance today as we are."

-mercedes-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Karl Wendlinger , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Joachim Winkelhock , Bernd Maylander , Uwe Alzen , Christijan Albers , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Patrick Huisman , Thomas Jäger , Stefan Mücke