Great show in the small-Monaco: First Mercedes win for Uwe Alzen, Opel happy with Winkelhock's result, Aiello unlucky
Nurnberg. Half time and high point of the season: The fifth season round of the DTM at the Norisring was above all expectations. In front of a full house, the DTM drivers supplied an action packed race on the street track of Nurnberg. 102,000 spectators enjoyed a weekend of packed action. Uwe Alzen who had swapped his Opel for a Mercedes, enjoyed his first ever win for Mercedes crossing the line in front of Bernd Schneider and Marcel Tiemann, both Mercedes-Benz. Last years winner Joachim Winkelhock just missed a place on the podium, bringing his Opel Astra V8 home in fourth position.
Sweaty, champagne covered and over the moon: Uwe Alzen. "This win is a reward to my team, they have always believed in me," he said. "And I always knew that the team was good and that the car was good, it was up to me to get everything together. A special thank goes to Gerhard Ungar, the technical director of HWA. He has really helped me over the weekend. At last I have broken my duck." Alzen was up to second position, behind Schneider and pitted on lap 25 for his compulsory pit stop. As Schneider left the pit lane a lap later with fresh rubber, Alzen took the opportunity to out brake him going into the final corner and take over the lead. "I saw Uwe flying towards me", commentated Schneider, "and I thought: Don't risk anything and take the 15 points for second place rather than risk a collision. Uwe doesn't hurt me in the overall standings in the Championship, he's to far down the list." Mercedes-Benz Motorsport boss, Norbert Haug: "A big compliment to Uwe Alzen. To out brake a Schneider, overtake and then keep him in check earns respect."
Satisfaction by Opel: "To be honest, I'm proud of my self and the team today," said fourth placed man Joachim Winkelhock. "I don't want to go over the top, as we still have a lot to do in order to beat the Mercedes teams. But we have just arrived at half time in the DTM and Opel is back!" Opel's Motorsport boss Volker Strycek agrees: "I am especially happy because our fourth position from Joe, sixth for Michael Bartels and eighth for Manuel Reuter was not due to cars retiring but because our Astra Coupe has the speed. We are still not in a position to win a race, but we are still be working hard to accomplish this. I am also happy that this was really a DTM day at the Norisring. The thousands of spectators enjoyed the event including the show we put on in the break, with the Donut Contest, the Ferrari demo laps and the Drift Challenge."
The Abt Sportsline team from the Allgau region of Germany suffered under bad luck. Laurent Aiello, Abt's Ace card in the Championship title battle, lost any chance of ending in the points after receiving two Stop & Go penalties for speeding in the pit lane. Aiello who had started from 19th position on the grid had fought his way up the grid in his Abt-Audi TT-R to sixth position. His team colleague Christian Abt was in fifth position as Michael Bartels hit him, causing Abt to make an un-scheduled pit stop, he was later to retire. Team boss Hans-Jurgen Abt: "As far as I am concerned, the attack on Christian was uncalled for. Laurent gave everything, and drove very hard; unluckily he couldn't bring it home. I am happy for our two young drivers, Mattias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk who with 9th and 10th brought some points home. A positive point for us is that our car is absolutely competitive and bloody quick.
1. Uwe Alzen (Mercedes) 37:54.491 min 2. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes) 1.278 sec behind 3. Marcel Tiemann (Mercedes) 14,594 4. Joachim Winkelhock (Opel) 25,257 5. Peter Dumbreck (Mercedes) 29,989 6. Michael Bartels (Opel) 37,525 7. Patrick Huisman (Mercedes) 38,107 8. Manuel Reuter (Opel) 42,850 9. Mattias Ekstrom (Abt-Audi) 47,264 10. Martin Tomczyk (Abt-Audi) 50,824
Overall standings 1. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes) 92 Points 2. Marcel Fassler (Mercedes) 49 3. Peter Dumbreck (Mercedes) 45 4. Uwe Alzen (Mercedes) 44 5. Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi) 37 6. Marcel Tiemann (Mercedes) 26 7. Thomas Jager (Mercedes) 22 8. Patrick Huisman (Mercedes) 22 9. Mattias Ekstrom (Abt-Audi) 18 10. Martin Tomczyk (Abt-Audi) 17