Race: Alzen accepts Bernd offering

Uwe Alzen, who was sacked by Opel at the end of last season and given a DTM lifeline by Mercedes-Benz over the winter, scored his first victory for the Three-Pointed Star at the Norisring on Sunday with a little help from series leader Bernd Schneider

Race: Alzen accepts Bernd offering

Pole sitter Schneider's D2 AMG Mercedes CLK controlled the race from the start, and although Alzen's Warsteiner-backed version got to within 0.8sec on lap 17, Uwe lost out, mainly in traffic, to the tune of 2.9secs before his mandatory pit stop. This changed the complexion of the race, as his quick stop and lightning out lap put him right on Schneider's tail when the leader emerged from his stop a tour later.

Mindful of his championship lead, and perhaps Alzen's reputation as a non-team player - he was sacked by Opel for taking off team leader Manuel Reuter in the final round last year - Schneider admitted he "left the door open a little bit" as Alzen lunged past him at the Station hairpin on lap 25. For once, Schneider accepted second best...

Once ahead, Alzen pulled out a a 2.1sec lead by lap 40, which Schneider had halved by the end of the 44 lap race - perhaps to prove a point that he was quicker.

"It's a big relief to finally win a race this year," said Alzen. "We've had a lot of chances to do well this year, but we've been unlucky. This time we had a perfectly timed pit stop and a very good race as a result."

Schneider said he was happy with second, which extends his series lead to a massive 43 points at just past the halfway point of the season.

"I knew Uwe was desperate to win a race so I decided to minimise the risk to myself," said Schneider. "It was important for me to score some good points."

Super-sub Marcel Tiemann was a lonely third in his Eschmann-Manthey Merc but he was forced to nurse his car to the flag with serious brake problems in the final stages. He only passed Marcel Fassler when the Swiss hit the wall at the chicane and damaged his suspension, forcing him out.

Joachim Winkelhock scored Opel's best result to date with fourth, saying: "I'm not unhappy, I can live with that. I was more or less on the same pace as the three ahead, but I had big brake problems and had to pump the pedal four or five times before every corner."

Peter Dumbreck's AMG Mercedes finished fifth after going for an early pit stop. He finished ahead of Michael Bartels (Opel), who just held off Patrick Huisman's Eschmann-Manthey CLK.

Audi's top runner Laurent Aiello ran as high as sixth until he was given two successive stop/go penalties as his speed limiter had broken and he was caught speeding in the pits on two separate occasions. He finished a disappointed 12th: "By the time I realised it wasn't working, it was too late," he rued.




Uwe Alzen, 2001 Warsteiner Mercedes CLK, 44 laps
Bernd Schneider, 2001 D2 Mercedes CLK, +1.278s
Marcel Tiemann, 2001 Eschmann-Manthey Mercedes CLK, +14.594s
Joachim Winkelhock, 2001 Holzer Opel Astra Coupe, +25.257s
Peter Dumbreck, 2001 D2 Mercedes CLK, +29.989s
Michael Bartels, 2001 Holzer Opel Astra Coupe, +37.525s
Patrick Huisman, 2001 Eschmann-Manthey Mercedes CLK, +38.107s
Manuel Reuter, 2001 Phoenix Opel Astra Coupe, +42.850s
Mattias Ekstrom, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R, +47.264s
Martin Tomczyk, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R, +50.827s
Darren Turner, 2000 Rosberg Mercedes CLK, +1 lap
Laurent Aiello, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R, +1 lap
David Saelens, 2000 Rosberg Mercedes CLK, +1 lap
Alain Menu, 2001 Euroteam Opel Astra Coupe, +1 lap
Peter Mamerow, 2000 Mamerow Opel Astra Coupe, +1 lap
Christijan Albers, 2000 Persson Mercedes CLK, +9 laps
Christian Abt, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R, +11 laps
Timo Scheider, 2001 Holzer Opel Astra Coupe, 30 laps
Yves Olivier, 2000 Phoenix Opel Astra Coupe, 26 laps
Hubert Haupt, 2000 Euroteam Opel Astra Coupe, 24 laps
Marcel Fassler, 2001 Warsteiner Mercedes CLK, 18 laps
Thomas Jager, 2000 Persson Mercedes CLK, 0 laps

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Qualifying race: Schneider strokes it

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