Bernd Schneider new DTM Champion
The Alemannenring in Singen saw two big winners: Bernd Schneider and Kurt Thiim. Thiim won race one and was leading race two when he was stopped by an engine failure and lost oil on the track in the lap 29. Very shortly after this incident the race was abandoned and Kurt - the leader until his problems began - was the winner of race two too. Thanks to the regulations, which say: if a race is stopped after more than 75 percent of the race distance, the rankings of the lap before the race was abandoned are the official result. Bernd Schneider meanwhile wasn't able to win a race in Singen, but with a phantastic effort in all the two races he conquered the DTM championchip of 1995. Started as 14th in race one, Schneider finished 6th and conquered place three in race two.
The race developed as the most drivers had feared: "There is no possibility to overtake, you just have to wait until the driver in front of you makes a mistake before you can pass him." Kurt Thiim had taken the lead just from the start and kept it, although young Dario Franchitti followed him like a shadow and said later: "There was no chance to pass Thiim without an accident. And place one for Kurt and second position for me was much better than a big accident with no points for either of us."
Behind the two leaders followed Nicola Larini and team mate Alessandro Nannini. Chased by last year's champion Klaus Ludwig, whose Calibra seemed to be very competitive, as Ludwig had no problems to go the pace of the Alfas. But in lap ten Ludwigs great performance was stopped by a gearbox failure and he had to give up. The two Martini-Alfas instead kept position until lap 26, when the second Mercedes youngster Jan Magnussen dared to attack Nannini and was successful. Magnussen finished 4th behind Thiim, Franchitti and Larini, while Nannini touched a tyre wall in lap 35 and fell back to 11th position.
So Manuel Reuter, who had started from the 9th position of the grid and showed a great performance, conquered fifth position and kept it until he saw the chequered flag. Reuter: "It was a tough race, especially because my car was underbraking more and more, but fortunately I was able to finish and to keep my position." An intelligent race was performed by Bernd Schneider, who went as fast as possible without risking too much and was rewarded by an impressing 6th place and collected valuable six points for the championship.
Manuel Reuter was struck by bad luck already before the second start had taken place. His starter broke, he had to be pushed and was not allowed to keep his fifth position but had to take up the race from the end of the grid.
The start: Again Franchitti lost the fight for first position against Thiim and everything looked, as if the race two would see the same top three as race one. But after two laps Nicola Larini was overtaken by Jan Magnussen and had to retire in lap 11 caused by an engine failure. The two leaders meanwhile cruised around the track and seemed to be out of reach. But then - lap 25 - fate struck Dario Franchitti by a puncture. So he had to come to the pits for new tyres and fell back to 10th position." The new top six: Thiim, Magnussen, Schneider, Danner, van Ommen and Dalmas.
But still drama hadn't ended. In lap 29 suddenly smoke was coming out of the engine compartment of Thiims Mercedes and Thiim, followed by bad luck all the season, seemed to be accompanied again by this disliked companion. Seconds later Calibra driver Ni Amorin had a heavy shunt and the race directory decided to abandon the race. And suddenly Thiim's bad luck turned out to be luck for the Dane.
The regulations made him the winner of race two and Thiim nearly didn't understand what had happened to him: "I've already experienced many things during my motorsports career, but this is the absolute climax! This season brought so many bad luck, but this now pays back for it. At the start of race one I had only hoped for a podium placement. Then I won race one. During race two I hoped for another victory, but then my engine broke down. And now I'm the winner nevertheless. Unbelievable!!"
Second was Jan Magnussen, third Bernd Schneider. But by this third place Schneider collected another 12 points and won 1995's DTM title. And everybody, who saw Schneider's face after the race, knows, what the face of a happy man looks like. Schneider: "This is a great moment in my career. It's all a question of the team, the material and the milieu. And if you are driving for a team like AMG and you've got a team boss like Norbert Haug you've got all reasons to hope, that you're on top of the podium one day or the other."
Only two men in Singen were really angry: Christian Danner (4th) and his boss Horst Schobel. Danner: "What a mess. How could they stop the race. There was no oil on the track. This did cost me at least third place!" And Horst Schobel added: "This decision didn't cost us only third place, but probably victory. The Bridgestone tyres of Magnussen and Schneider gave up more and more, so Christian would have overtaken them all the two within the last six laps."