Alzen gets the elbow from Opel's DTM ranks

Uwe Alzen has been sacked from Opel's DTM driver line-up, despite having a year still to run on his contract

Alzen gets the elbow from Opel's DTM ranks

The hard-charging German took three wins for the Russelsheim marque last season, but drew flak for his overly-aggressive driving tactics. At the DTM's Hockenheim finale, Alzen was publicly criticised by Opel sports chief Volker Strycek when he punted Opel team leader Manuel Reuter out of the race one lead and went on to take a double victory.

Speaking at the Essen Motor Show, Strycek said: "Our plans for 2001 do not include Uwe Alzen."

Alzen was unavailable for comment, but his manager Walter Mertes said: "Uwe is on a two-year contract that doesn't run out until the end of next year. Of course, I know that rumours about Uwe being sacked were going round for a couple of weeks, but I didn't expect this kind of decision."

Sources say that Alzen could be thrown a DTM lifeline by Mercedes, which is looking for 'character' drivers to fill the void left by Klaus Ludwig's impending re-retirement. Alzen drove for the semi-works Persson Mercedes team in the 1995 DTM.

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