Main race: Fassler does the double

Marcel Fassler managed to withstand intense pressure from Bernd Schneider in the second half of the DTM feature race at Oschersleben to make it two wins in a row for the young Mercedes driver

Main race: Fassler does the double

After starting from pole position following his win in the sprint race, a mid-race mistake for Fassler could have cost him the victory, but he clawed it back to win from Schneider, while Uwe Alzen took third with Peter Dumbreck fourth to make it a Mercedes top four.

"This is the biggest win of my career," said a grinning Fassler, "because DTM is definitely bigger than Formula 3. The drivers are better here and we have people like Bernd [Schneider] to beat, so I'm really very happy to win here."

Fassler led from the start and immediately began to build a lead while the rest of the field got itself into order. Schneider made up for a poor start in the first race by moving into second ahead of Laurent Aiello's Abt Audi TT-R. The Frenchman was also taken by Alzen and dropped to fourth.

Fassler began to stretch his legs and looked to be assuming a commanding position as the mandatory pitstops loomed. However on the eighth lap the young Swiss out-braked himself at the back chicane allowing Schneider to close and pass.

The stops began on the tenth lap and some sharp pit-work (on lap 12) from Fassler's HWA crew put their man back in front, once Schneider had come in for new rubber two laps later. The reigning champion came out behind the youngster and, try as he might, he could not find a way past. An uncharacteristic mistake from Schneider on the very last lap saw the lead D2 Mercedes CLK run wide onto the back straight and the German had to settle for second.

"In the race I won here last year," said Schneider, "I went off at the same corner. I wanted to make one last charge, but it just didn't work out."

Schneider's team mate Peter Dumbreck was always going to struggle on the twisty Oschersleben circuit from fifth on the grid and a tussle with Alzen on the first lap did not help. As it was, the Scot found himself embroiled in a battle with Aiello and Alzen (again) after the pitstops and while the Audi did not pose too many problems, Alzen muscled his way past leaving Dumbreck to finish fourth.

"I had a pretty good start," said Dumbreck, "but I was side-by-side with Alzen and had to let him in, otherwise we could have both been in trouble. Because of that I got hit by an Audi from behind and [Patrick] Huisman got a run on me at the hairpin. I was behind him and that was why I stopped early."

Behind Aiello in the lead Audi in fifth, came team mates Christian Abt in sixth and Mattias Ekstrom in seventh. The bright yellow cars continue to be a thorn in Mercedes' side, and despite showing impressive qualifying pace had obviously taken a wrong turn with their race set-up.

"I am a little bit disappointed," said Aiello. "When we came here the car was very good, but for the race it was not so good. I made a bad start which was just one of those things and then I think we made a mistake on the set-up."

The Opels continued to struggle and Timo Scheider was the highest placed Astra V8 Coupe in 12th place, behind two 2000-spec Mercedes.

"I'm not where I expected to be," said Scheider. "We are working very hard, but we definitely need the next four weeks to find out what the problems are and sort them out. At least we had the fastest pit-stop."

Darren Turner had a difficult race due to his 2000-spec Mercedes suffering from understeer and the Mclaren tester finished where he qualified in 14th. But as if to twist the knife yet further the result was later disallowed after a non-allocated tyre was fitted to the car during the Brit's pitstop.

"I could always make up places at the start and the first corner," said Turner, before he knew of the disqualification, "but my car's race pace was just too slow. After the stop I had massive understeer and when I was correcting a moment I accidentally hit the pit lane speed limiter and lost some places to the Opels."

Fassler's win moves him into second in the championship behind Schneider with Aiello hanging on in third and Dumbreck in fourth. There is now a four-week break in the championship before the teams head to the Sachsenring on June 17.



Marcel Fassler, 2001 Warsteiner Mercedes CLK, 40m16.699 laps
Bernd Schneider, 2001 D2 Mercedes CLK, +4.2s
Uwe Alzen, , 2001 Warsteiner Mercedes CLK, +5.2s
Peter Dumbreck, 2001 D2 Mercedes CLK, +10.5s
Laurent Aiello, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R, +12.1s
Christian Abt, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R +16.6s
Mattias Ekstrom, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R, +19.8s
Marcel Tiemann, 2001 Eschmann-Manthey Mercedes CLK, +24.8
Patrick Huisman, 2001 Eschmann-Manthey Mercedes CLK, +32.8s
Tomas Jager, 2000 Persson Mercedes CLK, +36.6s
Christijan Albers, 2000 Persson Mercedes CLK, +37.0s
Timo Scheider, 2001 Holzer Opel Astra Coupe, +37.4s
Yves Olivier, 2000 Phoenix Opel Astra Coupe, +40.1s
Darren Turner, 2000 Rosberg Mercedes CLK, +45.9s
Michael Bartels, 2001 Holzer Opel Astra Coupe, +55.0s
Manuel Reuter, 2001 Phoenix Opel Astra Coupe, +57.6s
Alain Menu, 2001 Euroteam Opel Astra Coupe, +59.1s
Joachim Winkelhock, 2001 Holzer Opel Astra Coupe, +59.8s
Hubert Haupt, 2000 Euroteam Opel Astra Coupe, I lap
David Saelens, 2000 Rosberg Mercedes CLK, 2 laps
Martin Tomczyk, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R, DNF
Peter Mamerow, 2000 Mamerow Opel Astra Coupe, DNF

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