DTM

Norisring: Mercedes race report

Third Win of the Season for Christijan Albers Christijan Albers (ExpressService AMG-Mercedes) won the fifth round of the 2003 DTM at Nuremberg’s Norisring. After 72 laps in ambient temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, Albers came home...

Third Win of the Season for Christijan Albers

Christijan Albers (ExpressService AMG-Mercedes) won the fifth round of the 2003 DTM at Nuremberg’s Norisring. After 72 laps in ambient temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, Albers came home 5.7sec ahead of Marcel Fässler (AMG-Mercedes), followed by Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) and Peter Dumbreck (Opel Astra V8 Coupé). With his third win of the season, Albers regained the lead of the Drivers’ Championship with 36 points ahead of Schneider (35). A crowd of 128,000 attended the event over the weekend.

Schneider had achieved his 21st DTM career pole position. In the race Jean Alesi was first off the line with a jump start. When he came into the pits for his drive-through penalty on lap 4, Schneider took the lead.

On lap 18, Schneider made his first compulsory pit stop. A problem with the changing of the right rear wheel cost him about 12 seconds. On lap 21, after the first series of pit stops, Albers was in the lead. The Dutchman led for all but four of the remaining laps, when he made his second stop on lap 47 with 6.2sec.

On lap 33, Schneider passed Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) and improved to fourth. A quick second stop helped him to take third position ahead of Dumbreck.

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) had dropped to last place after his penalty, but charged through the field to finish fifth.

Christijan Albers ExpressService AMG-Mercedes:

"It’s fantastic to win here and to regain the championship lead. My team had prepared the car perfectly so I didn’t have any problems in the race. There is still a long season ahead of us and I expect a hard fight for the championship. The gaps to Peter Dumbreck in his Opel Astra V8 Coupé and Laurent Aiello in his Abt-Audi TT-R are only 13 and 14 points respectively, and for a race win you score ten points.” -

Marcel Fässler AMG-Mercedes:

"I’m happy about an enjoyable weekend. I had a little brake problem throughout the race and was not able to push hard.”

Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG-Mercedes:

"The problem during my first pit stop was crucial, and I had to try as hard as I could to achieve a podium finish. With third place, I scored valuable points and kept the championship fight open.” -

Jean Alesi AMG-Mercedes:

"I’m sorry for my team, that I made the jump start and got the drive-through penalty. After that, my race was perfect and under the circumstances, I’m happy with fifth place.”.

Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, Thomas Jäger was 9th and best driver with last year’s model of the AMG-Mercedes CLK. Bernd Mayländer retired on lap 32 due to brake problems. ARTA AMG-Mercedes, Katsutomo Kaneishi, 12th in qualifying, was ninth after the opening lap. After spinning twice and a mistake under braking, he slid into the wall after the Esses and retired with a broken right rear wheel.

Service 24h AMG-Mercedes driver Stefan Mücke dropped from 13th to 15th on the last lap due to a gearbox problem. Gary Paffett’s race ended on lap 34 after he had damaged his radiator in a collision with Karl Wendlinger (Abt-Audi TT-R).

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"This was a great race in front of a record crowd. To achieve all podium places is a dream result for the entire team. Thanks for that to everybody at HWA. Christijan, as well as Marcel, Bernd and Jean did a great job. At the halfway point of the season, the championship is still wide open. The gap between Christijan and Bernd is one point. The leader and Laurent Aiello in fifth position are within 14 points only.”

-mercedes-

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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Karl Wendlinger , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Thomas Jäger , Gary Paffett , Kaneishi Katsutomo , Stefan Mücke