DTM

Diepholz report

7. + 8. run 21.-23. June 1995 Int. 28. ADAC-Fluplatzrennen Diepholz Race report - Race one and two Double victory for Michael Bartels What a day for Michael Bartels. Since 1989 the Plettenberger wasn't able to finish one single race as...

7. + 8. run 21.-23. June 1995 Int. 28. ADAC-Fluplatzrennen Diepholz

Race report - Race one and two

Double victory for Michael Bartels

What a day for Michael Bartels. Since 1989 the Plettenberger wasn't able to finish one single race as the winner, but after the Diepholz weekend the Alfa driver will be able to forget this long hard haul without any problems. For he won all the two races, leading 73 of 74 laps altogether! Worksmate Nicola Larini achieved one third (race one) and one second place (race two), the last two podium placements were gained by the Mercedes pilots Dario Franchitti (second in race one) and J”rg van Ommen (third in race two). Disappointment again for Opel and particularly for the ruling champion Klaus Ludwig, who started with great hopes from the first row of the grid but didn't finish one of the races.

Race one

Pole setter Michael Bartels took the lead right from the start, but Klaus Ludwig, the second man in the first row of the grid, was only fourth, when lap one was completed. Ludwig: "Michael started so slow, there was no chance for me to keep my position or overtake him, as my first gear was too long. Probably Michael knew about my long first gear and used this very clever. But I had been informed, that the race should be started at a speed of 60 to 70 km/h but not at something around 20, as it happened. So I was rather angry." The consequence of Ludwigs anger: Three laps later he was out of the race. Ludwig again: "It was my fault. I wanted to fight back, drove too fast an had a rather heavy impact into the crash barriers which destroyed all my back axle suspension." So the way was free for a start to finish victory of Michael Bartels, who never was in danger until he crossed the finish line. Bartels: "You can't imagine, what this victory means to me. And believe me: This track isn't so easy to drive, as the spectators may believe. You have to find a good set-up for the distance and be very careful at the chicanes."

For 28 laps Alessandro Nannini kept place two, but then he lost his second position to Mercedes youngster Dario Franchitti and one lap later he fell back to fourth position, when he was overtaken by his teammate Nicola Larini. Nannini: "I'm really disappointed, but still I hope, I can do better in race two."

Race two

But this hope of Alessandro Nannini wasn't fulfilled. On the contrary: After 19 laps his exhaust manifold broke and "Sandro" had to retire. While Michael Bartels led again, only once overtaken by Dario Franchitti in lap five. But half a lap later Franchitti was struck by a clutch problem and fell back to sixth position.

Afterwards Bartels could keep his position until he saw the chequered flag. Nevertheless there was an exciting battle for the lead going on. Because his works mate Nicola Larini followed him in a distance of less than a second and did everything to overtake the German. In vain. Larini: "I was the shadow of Michael in race two, but there was no possibility to overtake him in the first 25 laps. That's racing." After these 25 laps Alfa sports chief Giorgio Pianta gave out the order: "Keep position, don't fight any longer, what we need are victories and points instead of two destroyed cars."

Third place was gained by Jorg van Ommen, who had to tremble for his podium placement half the race because of a broken exhauster.

A very unhappy man again was Klaus Ludwig: He took up the race out of the pits after his mechanics had repaired his car in a really great effort which motivated Ludwig to a great effort on his own. After four laps he had gained place ten, but then the "Opel bad luck" struck again and Ludwig's Calibra caught fire. Ludwig: "What can I do. My mechanics did a really good job and the car was very competitive again. But the I lost some oil which probably caught fire on the exhauster. The rest is history."

So it was Manuel Reuter once more, who had to save Opel's honour. Reuter, who - like works mate Ludwig - had to retire of race one (generator defect) took up the race from the pits, showed a great performance and finished in seventh position. Opel's sports chief Walter Treser: "A big compliment to Manuel. It was an outstanding performance to gain place seven out of the pits and proved the potential of our car. "

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Series DTM
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Manuel Reuter , Michael Bartels , Klaus Ludwig , Alessandro Nannini , Nicola Larini , Jörg van Ommen