N’ring warm-up: Schneider top, despite offs

DTM title favourite Bernd Schneider went off twice in the morning warm-up at the Nurburgring, but still posted fastest time ahead of championship long-shot Manuel Reuter

N’ring warm-up: Schneider top, despite offs

Schneider had sat glued to the TV to watch his countryman Michael Schumacher take his third world title, before sauntering into the AMG garage and cranking his CLK's V8 into life. Perhaps the euphoria of Schuey's title had overtaken the normally dour Schneider, but two grassy offs in the space of 10 minutes gave another micro-sized ray of hope to Opel ace Reuter.

The pair finished just 0.014s apart, but with Schneider 59 points ahead of Reuter and a maximum of 80 points available from the four remaining races, the Mercedes team-leader doesn't need to 'do a Schuey' and win today's double-header to take his second DTM title. Should Reuter win both races, a pair of thirds will suffice.

Pole-sitter Jo Winkelhock posted the fifth best time, with the fourth-starting Uwe Alzen ending the warm-up in fourth too. Both know they will have to play a crucial role if Reuter is to take the title fight all the way to the wire at Hockenheim.

Darren Turner gave himself a huge confidence boost by finishing the session third fastest. The former McLaren Autosport BRDC award-winner has to start this afternoon's first race from the very back of the grid after changing an engine following the Oschersleben mega-shunt, but the young Brit has worked on honing his race set-up and could spring a surprise this afternoon.

But come race time, the key factor could be the weather: the dictionary definition of fickle is 'Eifel weather' and the forecast for this afternoon says showers. Anything could happen.



1 Bernd Schneider, Mercedes, 1m37.820s
2 Manuel Reuter, Opel, 1m37.834s
3 Darren Turner, Mercedes, 1m37.969s
4 Uwe Alzen, Opel, 1m38.093s
5 Jo Winkelhock, Opel, 1m38.095s
6 Christian Menzel, Opel, 1m38.142s
7 Pedro Lamy, Mercedes, 1m38.217s
8 Thomas Jager, Mercedes, 1m38.278s
9 Eric Helary, Opel, 1m38.313s
10 Timo Scheider, Opel, 1m38.317s


12 Laurent Aiello, Audi, 1m38.381s
14 Peter Dumbreck, Mercedes, 1m38.557s
18 James Thompson, Audi, 1m39.500s

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N'ring, race 1: Reuter win keeps slim hopes alive

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