Sat practice: Reuter heads Opel one-two

It rained at the Nurburgring on Saturday. Less than shocking news... But as the track dried in the final minutes of the morning's free practice hour, Manuel Reuter and Alain Menu gave Opel a boost with a one-two at the top of the timesheets

Sat practice: Reuter heads Opel one-two

For Reuter, his Astra V8 Coupe's wet weather form came after a confidence-building third overall in Friday's pair of free practice sessions. But for Menu, seccond overall was light at the end of the tunnel after brake problems hampered his Friday running with Opel Euroteam.

Jean Alesi confirmed the rainmeister status built in his Formula 1 days with a last-gasp third fastest, finishing the session top Mercedes (nine slots ahead of AMG team mate Bernd Schneider).

Points leader Laurent Aiello had dominated Friday's pair of free practice sessions in his Abt-Audi TT-R, and initially carried on where he left off in the hour allotted on Saturday morning - albeit a good dozen seconds off the ultimate pace after a pre-session deluge left the Eifel track in treacherous condition. But he fell to fourth as the field put in last-gasp runs.

Peter Dumbreck finished the session 11th overall in his 2001-spec Persson Mercedes, but had managed a promising seventh overall in Friday's dry conditions.

With the rain subsiding, but fog rolling in, making the Nurburgring short circuit look like the set of Hound of the Baskervilles, it's anybody's guess what the afternoon's qualifying session will bring. Rain or dry, either way it seems Aiello could be battling with Opel for the pole.

Manuel Reuter (D) Phoenix Opel Astra V8 Coupe, 1m36.810s
Alain Menu (CH) Euroteam Opel Astra V8 Coupe, 1m37.048s
Jean Alesi (F) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m37.089s
Laurent Aiello (F) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m37.434s
Michael Bartels (D) Holzer Opel Astra V8 Coupe, 137.595s
Mattias Ekstrom (S) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m37.648s
Timo Scheider (D) Holzer Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m37.987s
Marcel Fassler (CH), AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m38.051s
Christijan Albers (NL) Rosberg Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m38.119s
Bernd Maylander (D) Manthey Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m38.173

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