Adria: Christijan Albers second Starting third on the grid, Christijan Albers improved to second behind Mattias EkstrÃ¶m (Audi) on the opening lap. Jean Alesi who had qualified second fastest dropped to fourth ahead of Gary Paffett. Bernd ...
Adria: Christijan Albers second
Starting third on the grid, Christijan Albers improved to second behind Mattias Ekström (Audi) on the opening lap. Jean Alesi who had qualified second fastest dropped to fourth ahead of Gary Paffett.
Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) was seventh. After a coming-together on the opening lap, the front right tyre of Bernd Schneider's car drag ged along the tyre. He pitted for repairs on lap five, however, the compulsory pit stops are not allowed before lap six. Therefore, Schneider had to make two more pit stops on laps 18 and 29.
On lap 20, Schneider posted the fastest lap of the race (1:12.039). After an exciting fight with Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Opel Vectra GTS V8) Schneider passed the former Grand Prix driver on lap 38 and ended up 11th.
Albers and Alesi made their first pit stops on lap seven whilst Paffett pitted two laps later. After the first round of pit stops, Albers was again second behind Ekström, Alesi and Paffett followed in third and fourth positions. The Frenchman made his second routine stop on lap 21. Albers and Paffett came in at the same time on lap 25. Albers resumed third behind Alesi, Paffett was fourth.
At the beginning of lap 31, Albers passed Alesi who suffered from a brake problem. Paffett also attacked Alesi, but the Frenchman defended his position. After 47 laps, Albers came home second followed by Alesi and Paffett.
Christijan Albers DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes:
"I started well and improved to second. However, I was not able to go Ekström's pace. Later, I lost some time in my second pit stop and was third behind Jean. In the end I'm happy to defend the championship lead."
Jean Alesi AMG-Mercedes:
"This was a great weekend for me and I'm happy about my first podium finish of the year. It was a hard race. In the closing stages I suffered from a brake problem, therefore Christijan managed to pass me."
Gary Paffett C-Klasse AMG-Mercedes:
"I lost one position at the start and in the end I was a bit faster than Jean ahead of me, but he is not easy to pass . Therefore I'm reasonably satisfied with my fourth place."
Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG-Mercedes:
"I started well and had a coming-together with Tom Kristensen at the third corner. Therefore the fender was rubbing against the right front tyre and I had to make an extra pit stop. The car ran perfectly afterwards, however, I wasn't able to finish better."
CLK AMG-Mercedes, Stefan Mücke finished 7th and was best driver with a last year's car. He scored his first two points in the DTM. Sonax Dark Dog AMG-Mercedes, Jarek Janis's race was over on lap 18 due to a brake failure.
Bernd Mayländer, CLK AMG-Mercedes hit Christian Abt's Audi A4 DTM on lap 15 and retired with a damaged front of his car. Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, Markus Winkelhock tangled with several cars on lap four and spun. He had to give up with a damaged left rear suspension.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"Congratulations to Mattias Ekström and the Abt-Audi team. HWA showed a good team performance with Christijan Albers, Jean Alesi and Gary Paffett in positions two, three and four. All three were within 0.17sec with their fastest race laps. Christijan Albers defended the championship lead. Including Stefan Mücke's seventh place, four Mercedes cars scored points today. Unfortunately, Bernd Schneider tangled with another car and had to make an extra pit stop. The championship remains open, and we look forward to the next race at the Lausitzring."