Zandvoort main: Aiello is champion

Laurent Aiello of the Abt Sportsline team was crowned DTM champion at Zandvoort in Holland today (Sunday) as title rival Bernd Schneider of AMG Mercedes failed to win the main event as he needed to do. Mattias Ekstrom won the race for Audi, his first main DTM race win

Zandvoort main: Aiello is champion

Schneider finished the race in second, but needed another point to take the title race to the final race at Hockenheim next weekend.

Qualification race winner Marcel Fassler made a poor start from pole, and dropped well down the order. Christian Abt's Audi led the early going, before Ekstrom passed him at the Nissan chicane on lap six and pulled away.

Aiello, meanwhile, who started from the back was in a fired-up mood, and made short work of the tail of the field, despite some blocking tactics from the Mercedes ranks. Second placed Abt was followed into the pits by Alain Menu (Opel), Schneider and Uwe Alzen (Mercedes) but Schneider was the first out, effectively gifting him second position.

He let the faster Fassler through in an attempt to catch Ekstrom, but the Swede was already too far down the road to be caught. He won the race by 5.5s, as Fassler allowed Schneider ahead, just in case Ekstrom hit trouble late on. He didn't.

Aiello might be in a bit of trouble, however, as he punted Alzen into a spin at Tarzan in fairly blatant fashion to finish sixth. A very unhappy Alzen finished a lapped 17th, but Aiello was delighted with his title.

"When I had to start the race from the back [due to fuel irregularities in qualifying] I felt I had it all to do again," said Aiello. "I knew Abt would give me a good car but to finish sixth was unbelievable. I'm very happy to be a part of this team and to win the championship for them."

Opel's Manuel Reuter and Timo Scheider finished fourth and fifth, as the better placed Menu was forced out of the race soon after the pit stops due to fuel pressure problems.


Mattias Ekström (S) Abt-Audi TT-R, 24 laps
Bernd Schneider (D) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, +5.5s
Marcel Fässler (CH) AMG Mercedes-Bend CLK, +7.7s
Manuel Reuter (D) Phoenix Opel Astra V8 Coupe, +8.7s
Timo Scheider (D) Holzer Opel Astra V8 Coupé, +10.1s
Laurent Aiello (F) Abt-Audi TT-R, +16.9s

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