Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) finished second in the fourth round of the 2002 DTM at the Sachsenring. Marcel FÃ¤ssler (Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes) came home fourth. With Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) winning the race ahead of Alain Menu ...
Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) finished second in the fourth round of the 2002 DTM at the Sachsenring. Marcel Fässler (Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes) came home fourth. With Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) winning the race ahead of Alain Menu (Opel Astra V8 Coupé) all three brands were represented on the podium. A crowd of 59,000 watched an exciting DTM weekend.
Qualification race (9 laps = 33.336 km): Bernd Schneider who had qualified third fastest came home third in the sprint, behind pole sitter Aiello and Menu in second position. Marcel Fässler, eleventh on the grid, improved by two positions and finished ninth after an exciting battle with Christian Abt (Abt-Audi TT-R).
Main event (28 laps = 103.712 km): Again Bernd was third into the first corner behind Aiello and Menu. Entering lap 7 Bernd was side-by-side with the Opel driver but backed off when he was touched by the Swiss. On lap 9 Bernd made his compulsory pit stop.
After Menu, too, had been in the pits, Bernd passed him on lap 12 and started to chase leader Aiello. He closed the gap from 6.3sec to 1.4sec across the finish line.
Marcel Fässler fought in the group behind the leaders. He attacked Joachim Winkelhock (Opel Astra V8 Coupé) in front of him several times and passed him on the penultimate lap. He tried to attack Menu as well but decided not to take chances and scored three championship points for a fourth-place finish.
Comments and remarks:
Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, Bernd Schneider:
"I'm really happy about today's result. I started well in both races, however I didn't manage to pass Aiello and Menu. After Menu had hit me my car's handling wasn't as good as before. Our pit stop timing was ideal and gave me the opportunity to pass Menu and to reduce the gap behind Aiello. Unfortunately I was not close enough, but today's second position helps me in the championship."
AMG-Mercedes, Jean Alesi was 16th in the qualification race and was on his way to score points. He made his pit stop on lap 10 which was the fastest of all drivers with a time of 5.3sec. Two laps later, Jean was hit by Martin Tomczyk's Abt-Audi TT-R who just left the pits, and had to retire.
Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, Uwe Alzen was hit by another car in the qualification race which damaged his water cooler. After his team couldn't repair the car in the given time he started from the pit lane and finished ninth.
Marcel Fässler: "I took it easy in the beginning because I knew I would be faster after the pit stop. I was able to put pressure on Winkelhock and caused him to make a mistake."
Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, Peter Dumbreck finished tenth. – Thomas Jäger: “On lap 2 I was hit by another car and spun. I had to make an unscheduled pit stop to change the damaged rear wheel.” Thomas ended up 15th.
Oase AMG-Mercedes, Bernd Mayländer came home 19th in the qualification race and finished 13th in the main event. CEB AMG-Mercedes, Patrick Huisman was pushed on to the gravel following a coming together after the start and ended up 14th.
Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, Stefan Mücke:
"When Jean hit the brakes in front of me because another car had spun I had no chance to avoid him and hit him from behind. My water cooler was damaged so I had to retire."
Mercedes-Benz Motorsportchef Norbert Haug:
"An exciting race which saw us charging to the front with a good speed. Our pit stop strategy helped us to improve. Bernd did an excellent job today as well as Marcel Fässler. Jean Alesi, too, was on his way to score points but was forced to retire by Martin Tomczyk's mistake."