Norisring report

5th + 6th runþ 23rd þ25th of June 1995 200 Miles of Nuernberg Norisring The races Danner and Schneider the winners of Nuernberg Just as he did at the ITC event in Helsinki, Alfa driver Christian Danner proved with his victory in race...

5th + 6th runþ 23rd þ25th of June 1995 200 Miles of Nuernberg Norisring

The races

Danner and Schneider the winners of Nuernberg

Just as he did at the ITC event in Helsinki, Alfa driver Christian Danner proved with his victory in race one, that cleverness and a level-headed style of driving can pay off under certain circumstances. Danner, Opel driver Manuel Reuter and Class 1 newcomer Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa Romeo) had started the race on slicks in spite of a wet track. But only Danner's courage was rewarded, whilst Reuter and Giovanardi were stopped by defects. Second place was conquered by an overjoyed Klaus Ludwig (Opel Calibra), Alessandro Nannini (Alfa Romeo) came in third. Race two was dominated by Mercedes, Bernd Schneider, Dario Franchitti and Joerg van Ommen didn't offer any chance to their competitors.

Race one: The tyre gamble and it's winners

The first and very important decision of race one was made already before the race was started: Rain tyres, Intermediates or slicks, which would be the right choice? Danner, Giovanardi and Reuter decided on slicks, the rest of the grid with only some exceptions (Klaus Ludwig, Yannick Dalmas and JJ Lehto, who had chosen Intermediates) started the race on rain tyres. And off it went. Poleman Bernd Schneider lost his leading position on the wet track still in lap one to Michael Bartels, who showed an absolutely marvellous performance and wasn't to stop by any of his opponents. So he kept the lead to the 18th lap, followed by Nicola Larini (Alfa Romeo) and Stefano Modena. Then nearly everybody came into the pits for a tyre change. This was the moment, when those, who hadn't chosen rain tyres, became the winners of the tyre gamble. Ludwig took the lead, followed by Dalmas, Danner and JJ Lehto. But there was one guy, who had changed his tyres but nevertheless definitely wanted to gain a podium placement: Michael Bartels! Ten laps after his tyre change (lap 18) he was already fourth again, in lap 34 he was third. A placement, he could defend to the very last lap, but then his brilliant performance was stopped - a gearbox problem stopped him only some hundred meters before he would have been rewarded for his courageous race. Bartels was not amused: "What can I say, that's racing." Meanwhile Christian Danner had taken place two from Dalmas, who had to park his Opel after several spins, in some cases with contact to opponents. Dalmas: "I had a strong oversteer all the time, the car really didn't race the way I hoped it would do."

Meanwhile the fight for the lead became more and more dramatic as well. Ludwig had some trouble with weakening brakes, more and more smoke came out of the back of Danner's Alfa. So Ludwig and Danner had to tremble. But their cars held out to the finish, although Ludwig had to let Danner pass. Nevertheless: All the two were all smiles after they had passed the chequered flag. Danner: "I took the risk to start on slicks. It was a difficult race in the beginning, but very easy in the second half. I finished the first lap in 20th position, nevertheless I could finish the race as the winner. Of course I'm totally happy now. This wasn't the Helsinki-tactics, but the Nuernberg-tactics." Klaus Ludwig meanwhile nearly shed tears of joy: "What a bad luck, I nearly couldn't brake at all during the last 20 laps. On the other hand I could cry with joy, as all the hard work of the last months finally has been rewarded." One man in the meantime really cried: Horst Schuebel, team boss of Christian Danner: "I just can't believe it. To win our home race after all the problems of the past months is so great, its really incredible."

Race two: Triple triumph for Mercedes

Race two wasn't half as dramatic as the first one, but the performance of Mercedes was absolutely impressive. Already in lap one Bernd Schneider took the lead and kept it until he crossed the finish line as the winner. Behind him instead there happened a lot until the Mercedes triumph on positions one, two and three was perfect. Ludwig couldn't keep contact to the leader for long, as his engine lost more and more power, but Christian Danner, Stefano Modena and Nicola Larini kept Franchitti and company on distance until lap 25. Then it was Danner, who was kicked out by Alfa worksmate Michael Bartels, who had started out of the pitlane but again he had given it his all and had gained 6th position before the collision happened. Bartels: "I'm, really sorry for this, but I couldn't change into second or third gear. So I wasn't able to brake and hit the back of Christians car. I can't tell you, how happy I was, when I realized that he could drive on." Lap 37 was the one, when Dario Franchitti overtook Stefano Modena, three rounds later the young Scotsman was second, because Nicola Larini had to retire caused by a defect. Franchitti: "There was no chance to beat Bernd Schneider, his car was just faster. Nevertheless this was a satisfying race." In the last round Modena had to let pass Joerg van Ommen also. Van Ommen: "I want to thank Stefano Modena. It was very fair, that he drove such a clean line and didn't try to block me, although it was the very last round."

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Series DTM
Drivers Christian Danner , Yannick Dalmas , Dario Franchitti , Bernd Schneider , Manuel Reuter , Michael Bartels , Klaus Ludwig , Stefano Modena , Alessandro Nannini , Nicola Larini , JJ Lehto