DTM

Norisring: Opel race report

Peter Dumbrecks grabs fourth for Opel at Norisring Opel enjoyed more success in the DTM at the famous Norisring circuit, around the streets of Nuernberg in Germany, on Sunday. Scotland's Peter Dumbreck scored a well earned fourth place finish in...

Peter Dumbrecks grabs fourth for Opel at Norisring

Opel enjoyed more success in the DTM at the famous Norisring circuit, around the streets of Nuernberg in Germany, on Sunday. Scotland's Peter Dumbreck scored a well earned fourth place finish in front of a total of 128,000 spectators, and was unlucky to miss out on a podium position after driving a strong race in his Astra V8 Coupe that lifts him to fourth in the championship.

The weekend started well for Opel, as Dumbreck (OPC Team Phoenix) set the fastest time in Friday's test session, over a tenth clear of the opposition. Things did not fare so well for him in qualifying, however, as a big brake lock-up at the first corner of his Super Pole lap flat-spotted one of his tyres and affected his performance around the rest of the lap. He ended the session seventh overall, still the fastest of the Opel drivers, just ahead of Joachim Winkelhock (OPC Euroteam) and Manuel Reuter (OPC Team Holzer), both of whom also made it into the coveted top 10 Super Pole session.

Despite the relatively low grid positions, Opel motorsport chief Volker Strycek was not overly concerned, and said: "There is no need to panic, it was just the turn of our drivers to make mistakes in the Super Pole session this time. The race is what counts, and we are feeling confident about the result."

Dumbreck leapt into sixth place at the start, and was closely followed by Reuter in the early stages. Unfortunately, Manuel was judged to have jumped the start, and received a drive-through penalty. Dumbreck stayed in touch with Mercedes of Marcel Fassler in the early laps, but then had to fend off reigning champion Laurent Aiello of Audi. The Phoenix team elected to take a late first pitstop, so Dumbreck enjoyed a few laps in the lead before making his first mandatory stop.

Some super-quick pit work allowed him to gain a position and run in the top three for the middle stint of the race, but despite another lightning second stop, Dumbreck was held up by the a tail-end Audi, which allowed multiple DTM champion Bernd Schneider to steal the final position on the podium.

"What happened was unfortunate," said Dumbreck. "He didn't need to do what he did. I managed to hold Schneider off in the middle of the race, so I was sure that I could do it again until the end. Fourth in the championship is definitely a good result and it's what we've been pushing so hard to achieve."

Winkelhock made it two Opels in the points with an excellent drive to eighth position. Alain Menu (OPC Team Holzer) was 10th, with Reuter (who incurred a second drive-through penalty due to a collision) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (OPC Euroteam) 13th and 14th respectively. Timo Scheider was disappointed with 16th, having run as high as fifth before his first pitstop, when a wheel nut jammed and lost him the best part of two laps. "I passed so many guys in the first few laps, things were going great until the pitstop," rued Scheider.

"We would have liked a podium here, but fourth place showed that we were right in the fight," said Volker Strycek of the race. "Peter could have scored third place, but the fact he is now fourth in the championship makes me happy at half-time in the season. Joachim also drove a great race, and it was a shame he got stuck in traffic. It shows that we are up to the job in the DTM and can improve even further in the second half of the year."

-opel-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Timo Scheider , Volker Strycek , Alain Menu