Race one: Ludwig's back! Dumbreck on podium

Anybody believing Klaus Ludwig being lured out of retirement by Mercedes-Benz was little more than a publicity stunt should think again: the 50-year-old turned his Sachsenring pole into a lights-to-flag victory in round seven

Race one: Ludwig's back! Dumbreck on podium

Fellow front row man Peter Dumbreck tucked in behind his team mate at the start and, despite taking the gap below the one second mark several times during the 30-lapper, was content to take his first DTM podium.

Behind them, Opel's Manuel Reuter blew his chance to cut into Bernd Schneider's overall points lead. The 1996 ITC champion held a comfortable third behind the pair of Mercedes, but was a passenger as his Astra flew off the road with just three corners to go.

That left Schneider to take the final step on an all-Mercedes podium, the result of a fantastic charge from 11th on the grid.

But the writing had been on the wall since the early laps: Jo Winkelhock and Uwe Alzen had suffered near-identical offs to Reuter. Incredibly, all three cars suffered right front punctures, with early unconfirmed reports pointing the blame at the amount of camber the Astras were running.

"Everything was okay apart from the tyres," said a non-plussed Winkelhock, "and there was no warning when it happened."

Eric Helary finished best of the Opels, the Frenchman taking fourth, while Darren Turner took a confidence-boosting eighth for Team Rosberg Mercedes.

"It was great until lap five," recounted Turner, "then I suffered bad oversteer. I went off three times, and by lap nine I pretty much wanted to get out of the car..."

Turner's team mate Pedro Lamy was among the first lap casualties: the Portuguese rammed Stefano Modena's Astra at the first corner, with Thomas Jager's CLK and Christian Abt's off-the-pace Audi tangling just one corner later.

DTM Sachsenring, round 7 - 30 laps

1 Klaus Ludwig, Mercedes
2 Peter Dumbreck, Mercedes +0.8s
3 Bernd Schneider, Mercedes +6.8s
4 Eric Helary, Opel +16.2s
5 Marcel Tiemann, Mercedes +16.5s
6 Michael Bartels, Opel +22.2s
7 Timo Scheider, Opel +24.9s
8 Darren Turner, Mercedes +31.3s
9 Christian Menzel, Opel +40.9s
10 Marcel Fassler, Mercedes +1m03.0s

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