DTM

Norisring: Race report

Youngster Christijan Albers wins hot race at the Norisring After 72 laps of hard work in a hot race at the Norisring in Nuremberg, 24-year old Christijan Albers beamed: "A dream. I love being in the lead of the DTM, no matter if in the race or...

Youngster Christijan Albers wins hot race at the Norisring

After 72 laps of hard work in a hot race at the Norisring in Nuremberg, 24-year old Christijan Albers beamed: "A dream. I love being in the lead of the DTM, no matter if in the race or in the championship." With his error-free third season victory, the Dutchman claimed back the championship lead. At the finish, Mercedes-driver Albers had an advantage of 5.753 seconds over his fellow-Mercedes-driver Marcel Fässler.

Third place went to Albers' team-mate Bernd Schneider, who lost out on a possible victory due to an irregularly long pit stop. Peter Dumbreck became best-placed Opel-driver in fourth place from Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes CLK). The former F1-driver lost all chances of a possible victory after a jump start from the first row, for which he was given a drive through penalty. Champion Laurent Aiello finished sixth with his Abt-Audi TT-R. 128,000 spectators were a record crowd during the weekend.

Sport director Haug: "A dream result, three Mercedes-drivers in front"

Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug had plenty of reasons to be happy: "Three Mercedes-drivers on the podium are a dream result, even more so in front of this record crowd."

Norisring-winner Christijan Albers benefited from a mishap for his HWA-team-mate Bernd Schneider. During the first of the two mandatory pit stops, the right rear wheel had to be fixed once again.

Schneider was accordingly disappointed: "I am always annoyed when victory would have been possible and I still don't win. Moreover, I am convinced that the next race and the second half of the season will not be easier, quite the contrary. I believe that it will be really close. It can very well be that these are the points I will be missing in the end."

Second-placed Marcel Fässler was happy: "When I crossed the line, I was happy. It was an almost perfect weekend. Only Christijan was too fast for me this time."

Opel sport director Strycek: "Now, we are fourth in the championship"

Unlike last time at the Lausitzring, Opel failed to score a podium finish in the fifth round of the season, but Peter Dumbreck was still happy with his fourth place: "A good feeling. We have been doing constantly fast lap times. And that in spite of the fact that this isn't our favourite track. The Astra is just better suited for fast corners than for the hairpins here at the Norisring."

Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek: "With his fourth place, Peter has made up one position in the championship, we are now fourth. That is great. Of course, it is too bad, that Peter was held up by a driver about to be lapped, thus losing out on a certain podium finish. His fight with Bernd Schneider over many laps was just great. And Joachim Winkelhock also drove an excellent race. We are looking forward to the second half of the season." Winkelhock became second-best Opel-driver in eighth place.

Champion Aiello: "I drove my own race"

The Abt-Audi-team had a weekend with mixed fortunes. With his sixth place, Laurent Aiello claimed the best result. The DTM-champion scored three championship points and thus stays in touch with the front runners. After his great duel from last year with victory over Bernd Schneider, he now was beaten by his opponent.

"I wasn't quick enough to keep Bernd in control, so I let him go. Anything else would have been stupid. Then, I drove my own race and at the end, I had a very fair, but hard fight with my fellow-countryman Jean Alesi. At the moment, we aren't in a good position in the fight for the title. But now, we have a five weeks' break and we will try to catch up."

That was also the motto for team principal Hans-Jürgen Abt up to the next round at Donington: "This was the first half of the season. In the summer break, we will join our forces and we will try to strike back."

-dtm-

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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Joachim Winkelhock , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Volker Strycek , Hans-Jurgen Abt