Champion Schneider pledges future to Merc

Touring car ace Bernd Schneider has pledged his future to Mercedes-Benz and the AMG team after securing his second DTM title last weekend

Champion Schneider pledges future to Merc

"I'm part of the Mercedes and AMG family and I'll be involved in the DTM as long as they are," said Schneider. "If I can win the title again, that would be fantastic."

Schneider clinched the title with a second and a fourth place at the 'Ring. Opel's long-shot title hope Manuel Reuter won both races in the Eifel, but is 44 points behind Schneider with just 40 available from Hockenheim's DTM finale on October 29.

Schneider took his first DTM title in 1995 - the last year of the original DTM - but was shifted to Mercedes' GT and Le Mans programme when Class 1 touring car racing was scrapped at the end of 1996.

The DTM was revived for 2000, with low-cost, low-tech V8 machinery, and Schneider was drafted in to lead Merc's eight-car attack. With two races still to run, Schneider has six victories and three poles for the season.

"The points may not reflect it," he said, "but this has been a tough season. It wasn't until the middle of the season that I even dared think about the championship.

"It's already a dream come true to be the last champion of the old DTM and the first of the new," he added, "but I want more title in the future, because that's the best feeling you can have in racing."

Reuter is guaranteed second place in the championship following his Nurburgring double, but the battle for third is still on, with Mercedes duo Klaus Ludwig (122pts) and Marcel Fassler (108), plus Opel's Jo Winkelhock all in contention.

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N'ring, race 2: Reuter's race, Schneider's title
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