MONTVALE, N.J. (July 11, 2000) * With his victory at the Norisring street circuit in Nuremburg, Germany, July 9 behind the wheel of his high-performance D2 AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK coupe, Bernd Schneider ok the lead in the drivers' championship of...
MONTVALE, N.J. (July 11, 2000) * With his victory at the Norisring street circuit in Nuremburg, Germany, July 9 behind the wheel of his high-performance D2 AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK coupe, Bernd Schneider ok the lead in the drivers' championship of the new DTM 2000 German Touring Car Championship Series. The win was the third for Team AMG Mercedes-Benz and Schneider in the first six races.
Schneider, 35, won both the championship of the prior DTM series and the International Touring Car Series championship (ITC) in 1995 and the 1997 FIA-GT Championship. One-third of the way into the 2000 season, Schneider leads the championship race by three points over Manuel Reuter.
"My aim is to be not only the last champion in the old DTM series, but also the first champion in the new DTM series," said Schneider. "This is the best race car I've had in my career. The CLK is a thoroughbred racer and has spectacular handling."
At the Norisring, Schneider used superior pit strategy and a quick stop from his team to win the race by nearly 15 seconds over his competitors from Audi and Opel. With the win, D2 AMG Mercedes is second in the teams' championship with 106 points, four points behind Opel.
The nine-race DTM 2000 German Touring Car Championship Series is based on a new set of low-cost technical regulations which specifies production two-door cars and 4.0-liter V8 engines which may not be replaced during the season. Safety is an important factor in the future-oriented engineering of the DTM cars. In the Mercedes-Benz CLK, the driver is protected by a sophisticated airbag system and the Head and Neck Support (HANS) device that was further developed by Mercedes-Benz for potential use by all drivers in Formula One and CART.
Mercedes-Benz has a rich history in international sports car racing. Partnered with Team AMG, its tuning partner for high-performance automobiles such as the E55 and CLK 55, Mercedes-Benz made a clean sweep of all 10 rounds of the 1998 FIA-GT championship, successfully defending its 1997 manufacturer's title by defeating Porsche, among other factory efforts, and earning the driver's championship for Klaus Ludwig in the process.
In addition to Schneider, Team AMG Mercedes currently features Ludwig, who also won the 1988 German Touring Car championship, as well as Marcel Tiemann, Peter Dumbreck, Marcel Fassler, Thomas Jager, Pedro Lamy and Darren Turner. Mercedes-Benz also powers two-time defending champion Mika Hakkinen and his West McLaren Mercedes teammate David Coulthard in the Formula One World Championship. The West McLaren Mercedes team will race in the inaugural United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 24. Mercedes supplies its IC108F V8 turbo-charged engines to four teams competing in the CART FedEx Championship Series.