DTM

Norisring: Friday 1st practice report

Bernd Schneider impresses his rivals Mercedes-Benz driver Bernd Schneider pulled off a perfect start to the DTM season's fifth race on the Norisring street circuit in Nuremberg. The 39-year-old driver lapped the fastest time of 49.346 seconds at...

Bernd Schneider impresses his rivals

Mercedes-Benz driver Bernd Schneider pulled off a perfect start to the DTM season's fifth race on the Norisring street circuit in Nuremberg. The 39-year-old driver lapped the fastest time of 49.346 seconds at the very beginning of the 90-minute-long test on the season's shortest track at 2.3 kilometres long.

The four-times DTM champion notched up a total of 40 test laps. Team mate Jean Alesi clocked the second-fastest time (49.417 seconds, 60 laps) ahead of Christijan Albers in the AMG-Mercedes C-class (49.646 seconds, 28 laps). Christian Abt in an Audi A4 DTM and Marcel Fässler (Opel Vectra GTS V8) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM), who leads the overall standings together with Christijan Albers, had to settle for ninth place with a time of 49.789 seconds from 36 laps. Laurent Aiello, Opel's second-fastest driver on Friday morning in an Opel Vectra GTS V8, came 11th.

Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz):

"Of course I'm pretty satisfied with this start. But we're going to get even better as the track doesn't yet have enough grip."

Christian Abt (Audi):

"The track suits me very well. Although the course looks easy, here you need a lot of experience to be able to find the right combination between acceleration and braking."

Marcel Fässler (Opel):

"I'm very satisfied with the first test. We've got a good foundation for the coming days. The timings again prove how close the teams are."

Prominent Chinese visit at the DTM

A Chinese delegation is visiting the Norisring in preparation for the DTM's exhibition race in Shanghai on July 18. Mr Shi, vice president of the FASC (Federation of Automobile Sports of The People's Republic Of China) and accompanied by two teams from Chinese broadcasters CC TV and Shanghai TV, is gathering an impression of the unique atmosphere of a street race as well as the organisational procedures at the fifth DTM race.

The national sports organisation FASC is, among other duties, responsible for the development of motorsports in China. As a member of the Federation of International Automobile (FIA), it is also responsible for the Formula 1 race in Shanghai as well as the DTM race.

Celebs enthralled with DTM

Numerous celebrity guests have announced that they will be coming to the race dubbed the "Monaco of the DTM". These include the popular television presenter and motorsports fan Kai Pflaume as well as colleague Sonja Zietlow, who will follow the fifth championship race live at the Norisring.

Other celebrities: actors Wolfgang Fierek, Dieter Landuris ("Edel & Starck") and Dominic Boeer ("Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten"), singer Haddaway, presenters Pierre Geisensetter and Patrice Bouedibela (MTV), former football national player Thomas Linke, music expert Thomas Stein ("Deutschland sucht den Superstar").

Winning for a good cause

Television channel ProSieben is offering all fans along the racetrack a great chance of winning. With the motto "Every day is a Red Nose Day", spectators can buy a red nose and thereby donate money for children in need. The buyer automatically takes part in a raffle and can win a ride in a Mercedes-Benz racing taxi with DTM driver Stefan Mücke or a VIP package for two people to a DTM race.

Audi premieres its A3 Sportback to the public

DTM fans can look forward to a special premiere on Sunday on the Norisring. Manufacturer Audi is presenting its new model, the Audi A3 Sportback, for the first time in public in a procession of 24 cars at 1300 CET. The Audi models IMSA GTO, Audi A4 quattro, V8 quattro and the Abt-Audi TT-R will comprise a retrospective into the history of Audi motor racing. Team Abt Sportsline captured the DTM championship and the race victory on the Norisring in 2002 in the coupé.

-dtm-

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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Bernd Schneider , Christijan Albers , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Stefan Mücke