Bernd Mayländer drove his Eschmann-Stahl AMG Mercedes to victory in the tenth and final round of the 2001 DTM achieving his first victory in the championship and the 100th for Mercedes-Benz in DTM and ITC.
Maylander is the last winner on the 6.823 kilometre long Hockenheim Grand Prix circuit which will be modified and shortened next year. After 15 laps, Peter Dumbreck finished second 3.414sec behind his D2 AMG Mercedes team mate Bernd Schneider in third place.
The Eschmann-Stahl AMG Mercedes drivers Patrick Huisman and Mayländer finished 1-2 in the qualifying race ahead of Dumbreck. After two laps of the six-lap race the safety car was deployed due to accidents of Joachim Winkelhock (Opel Astra V8 Coupé) and Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R). At the re-start entering the final lap, Mayländer and Dumbreck passed Michael Bartels who had achieved his first pole position of the year on Saturday.
The Manthey team's two blue Mercedes dominated the first six laps of the main event. Huisman made his compulsory pit stop at the end of lap 6 and was stationary for 26.4sec due to broken fixing screws on the brake disc mounting and dropped to twelfth. The Dutchman charged through the field and wanted to pass Uwe Alzen entering the stadium on lap 13, but both cars tangled and Huisman retired. ''This could have been my day, until my pit stop everything went well,'' Huisman said, ''but unfortunately I had the incident with Uwe.''
Mayländer was in the lead when he pitted on lap 7. He regained the top position one lap later and led until the chequered flag. ''This was a dream come true,'' Maylander said. ''Both starts went well and the teamwork with Patrick was great. After my team's excellent pit stop I could finish the race without pressure. I'm really happy to achieve my first DTM victory.''
Bernd Schneider went off in the Opel corner on the qualifying race's first lap and started the main event from the back of the grid. On lap 5 he was eighth, and after his pit stop had recovered to third place behind his team mate Peter Dumbreck. Both the D2 AMG Mercedes drivers maintained their positions until the finish.
''After I had retired early in the qualifying race I started the main race carefully,'' Bernd Schneider said. ''My car had a great balance and I drove with low downforce which made overtaking easier. The hard fight with Manuel Reuter in the end was a highlight.'' Peter Dumbreck added: ''We had selected a low downforce configuration for my car, therefore I could go the speed at the top. After my great pit stop I just had to maintain my speed. I'm happy about today's second place and my third position in the championship.''
Uwe Alzen in the Warsteiner AMG Mercedes finished seventh, after several duels and two short offs. He secured second position overall. His team mate Marcel Fässler was involved in a collision immediately after the start of the qualifying race. He started from the pit lane, because repairs had not been finished in the given time. Fassler came home fifth.
Original-Teile AMG Mercedes drivers Christijan Albers and Thomas Jäger ended up ninth and tenth respectively. Darren Turner drove the Service 24h AMG Mercedes to an eighth-place finish, his team mate David Saelens went off twice and came home 15th.
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director Norbert Haug concluded: ''A great season final and an excellent performance of the Eschmann/Manthey team. Both the blue cars were the fastest in the field. Congratulations to Bernd, after this year's set-backs he has deserved this victory. Unfortunately, Patrick lost his chance to win after a problem during the wheel change. Many duels prove how competitive the DTM field is. The exciting race enthused the fans and was the best promotion for the sport.''