MONTVALE, N.J. (Oct. 10, 2000) -Mercedes-Benz driver Bernd Schneider captured the DTM 2000 German Touring Car Championship (known by the initials for its title in German, Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft), half a decade after winning the final championship in the previous edition of the popular series. Schneider's second- and fourth-place finishes in his Team AMG Mercedes CLK coupe in a pair of races at the famed Nurburgring circuit Sunday -- coupled with six race wins earlier in the season -- were enough to establish an insurmountable lead over Opel's Manuel Reuter. One race meet at Hockenheim remains on the nine-event schedule, and the team championship title will be determined there. The newly reprised DTM 2000 series -- roughly the German equivalent of NASCAR's Winston Cup -- has featured fast and spectacular competition for race-prepared, production-type cars. Mercedes' high-performance CLK coupes have battled Opel's Astras and Audi's TTs.

"I can hardly describe my emotions," said Schneider, who won the 1995 DTM championship crown behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. "It's a dream come true to be the last champion of the former DTM and the first champion of the new DTM. I had to fight really hard for this championship. I thank my whole team for their efforts."

In addition to DTM 2000, this season Mercedes-Benz has racked up seven grands prix victories in the Formula One World Championship with the West McLaren Mercedes team and drivers Mika Hakkinen (1998-99 World Champion) and David Coulthard. Mercedes-Benz has also supplied turbo-charged IC108F V8 engines to four teams in the CART FedEx Championship Series.