Bernd Schneider Scores First Victory of the Season Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) won the sixth round of the 2002 DTM at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz scoring his first victory of the season and the second for Mercedes-Benz this year. After...
Bernd Schneider Scores First Victory of the Season
Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) won the sixth round of the 2002 DTM at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz scoring his first victory of the season and the second for Mercedes-Benz this year. After 23 laps, Bernd came home 10.9secs ahead of Mattias Ekström (Abt-Audi TT-R). Marcel Fässler (Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes) finished third and was 0.9sec ahead of championship leader Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R). Opel drivers Manuel Reuter (fifth) and Joachim Winkelhock completed the points positions so that every brand had two drivers each among the top 6. 59,000 spectators attended the EuroSpeedway weekend.
Qualification race (7 laps 31.738 km):
Bernd Schneider, second in Qualifying, finished second, 1.7sec behind winner and pole sitter Aiello. Marcel Fässler came home sixth whilst his Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes team mate Uwe Alzen improved from 14th on the grid to ninth. Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, ninth in Qualifying, stalled the engine at the start, dropped to the back of the field and finished 14th.
Main event (23 laps 104.282 km):
Bernd Schneider led the field into the first corner and maintained the lead ahead of Aiello who pushed hard. On lap 8, the Frenchman drove into the pits for his compulsory tyre change and came to a halt for 10sec while Bernd stopped one lap later for 6.3sec.
On lap 13, when all drivers had made their stops, Bernd was in the lead ahead of Ekström, and Marcel, too, was ahead of Aiello. Bernd extended his lead to 10.9sec at the finish line and posted the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 with a lap of 1:40.483. Fässler came home third 0.9sec ahead of Aiello.
Jean Alesi improved to eleventh place on lap three behind Uwe Alzen when both cars tangeled entering lap four. Uwe slid off the track and retired whilst Jean eventually finished eighth.
Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, Bernd Schneider:
"Today everything worked out great and my car's handling was perfect. My pit crew was incredibly good and did a very fast stop. I had my only problem with the radio prior to the stop because I could hardly understand anything. Later I just unplugged it. The race was hard and I had to stay highly concentrated right to the chequered flag. I'm really happy about my first victory of the season and I enjoyed the spectators enthusiastic cheers when I crossed the line."
AMG-Mercedes, Jean Alesi:
"I saw a little gap and tried to attack Uwe, but unfortunately I touched his car. I feel very sorry for him and I will apologise to him."
Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, Uwe Alzen retired due to a damaged suspension after the incident.
"It was a tough race and I almost didn't have time to breathe. Aiello was pushing from behind, and then I wanted to pass Ekström. Due to understeer I was not able to do so, however I'm very happy about my first podium finish of the year."
Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, Thomas Jäger finished 13th, his team mate Peter Dumbreck came home 15th.
Oase AMG-Mercedes, Bernd Mayländer retired on lap 15 due to brake problems because a wheel had not been properly fixed.
CEB AMG-Mercedes, Patrick Huisman: finished twelfth and was the best driver of a 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM.
Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, Stefan Mücke ended up 16th in his home race. -- Christijan Albers: finished 14th.
Mercedes-Benz Motorsportchef Norbert Haug:
"An exciting and very fair race with a well balanced performance of all three brands. Bernd and his team deserved this victory. Our strategy and our pit stops were excellent. Marcel Fässler's third-place finish rounds off our good result, he, too, did a great job."