DTM

Norisring: Mercedes preview

All three brands fight for the championship The fifth round of the DTM this weekend at the Norisring marks the halfway point of the exciting 2003 season. Prior to the race at Nuremberg, the first six drivers in the Championship are within ...

All three brands fight for the championship

The fifth round of the DTM this weekend at the Norisring marks the halfway point of the exciting 2003 season. Prior to the race at Nuremberg, the first six drivers in the Championship are within 12 points. Ten days ago at the EuroSpeedway, drivers of all three brands in the DTM were on the podium: winner Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes), Peter Dumbreck (Opel Astra V8 Coupé) and Mattias Ekström (Abt-Audi TT) in second and third places respectively. Sunday's race will be the 25th DTM race at the Norisring in 15 years.

History: In the 24 races at the Norisring so far, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and BMW each scored five victories followed by Audi, Ford and Opel with three wins each. Last year, Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT) won with a margin of almost two tenths of a second ahead of Bernd Schneider after a dramatic and fair battle for the last 22 out of 44 laps.

Norbert Haug , Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "I expect more than two drivers to fight for the race win, and a close field to guarantee excitement. The season so far proved that the DTM is more competitive than ever before. At the Norisring, the pit stop strategy will be crucial. The strain for drivers, teams and technical equipment will be extremely high. Never before has the DTM covered a longer distance at the Norisring than this year's 72 laps."

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes): "The track should suit us as the AMG-Mercedes CLK is fast on the straights and handles well under braking. However, this is good for Opel, too, and the Abt-Audis were always quick at Nuremberg. I expect a close battle."

Formula 3: For the Formula 3 Euro Series, the Norisring event is the fourth of the season. After the first six races, the ASM team's Dallara Mercedes driver Olivier Pla is second overall with 24 points.

Ryan Briscoe (Dallara-Opel) leads the drivers' ranking with 54 points. The championship positions of the other Dallara Mercedes drivers: 5, Christian Klien (18 points); 8, Markus Winkelhock (11); 12, Alexandre Premat, Jamie Green (6); 14, Charles Zwolsman (5).

-mbm-

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Series DTM
Drivers Laurent Aiello , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Ryan Briscoe , Christian Klien , Olivier Pla , Charles Zwolsman , Markus Winkelhock , Jamie Green