N'Ring race one: Schneider dominates

Bernd Schneider took a crushing lights-to-flag victory for Mercedes in round nine of the DTM at a wet Nurburgring, converting his pole position into a dominant 27 second victory over second-placed Klaus Ludwig. Marcel Fassler completed the podium places giving AMG Mercedes a one-two-three

N'Ring race one: Schneider dominates

A typically sudden and heavy Eifel mountain rain shower 30 minutes before the start turned the race into a wet one. All 20 drivers started on wet tyres - except for Britain's Darren Turner - even though the rain had stopped by the time the lights went green.

Schneider held his line into the first corner despite pressure from fellow front row man Uwe Alzen.

The order at the end of the first lap was a replica of the starting grid, save for Opel Team Holzer driver Joachim Winklehock who leapt from 12th up to seventh. The German's pace did not continue he eventually dropped back to ninth by the finish.

Peter Dumbreck started from third on the grid and held his place for the opening laps. Handling problems then beset the Scot's AMG Mercedes allowing Klaus Ludwig through into second, where the German remained until the finish. Dumbreck's handling meanwhile, became increasingly ragged and he slowly dropped down the grid, finishing sixth.

"From the middle of the race," said Dumbreck, "the handling went and there was absolutely nothing I could do. I lost a lot of places."

Pedro Lamy started the race from a lowly 15th, but stormed through the field to claim a worthy fourth place after a stunning drive.

"I always enjoy racing here," said the Portuguese Mercedes driver. "Yesterday I was quick in the wet practice session but I just really enjoyed the race."

Team mate Darren Turner had started on slicks as the team hedged their bets with a driver on each type of tyre. The decision proved not to pay off as the rain returned in the form of light drizzle five laps in. He therefore had to pit for wets and eventually finished 14th.

The last place in the top five went to Manuel Reuter, who was the top Opel finisher. The German consistently went straight on at the Veedol chicane and despite threatening for fourth place could not hold off the flying Lamy.

The Audis had a better race than was expected from their bottom four grid positions. James Thompson started last but finished 12th, just behind team mate and BTCC champion Laurent Aiello. The Frenchman ran as high as ninth but a late spin demoted him to 11th.

With the starting grid for the second race the same as the finishing positions for the first, Schneider looks set to dominate but the on-form Lamy could throw up some surprises as he starts from the second row.


Bernd Schneider Mercedes-Benz CLK 22 laps
Klaus Ludwig Mercedes-Benz CLK 26.7s
Marcel Fassler Mercedes-Benz CLK 32.8s
Pedro Lamy Mercedes-Benz CLK 35.2s
Manuel Reuter Opel V8 Coupe 36.8s
Peter Dumbreck Mercedes-Benz CLK 43.7s
Thomas Jager Mercedes-Benz CLK 50.7s
Eric Helary Opel V8 Coupe 53.2s
Joachim Winklehock Opel V8 Coupe 1m03.0s
Uwe Alzen Opel V8 Coupe 1m12.8s

Selected other positions
James Thompson Audi TT-R 1m40.5s
Darren Turner Mercedes-Benz CLK 1lap

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