Marcel Fassler drove his Warsteiner AMG Mercedes to victory in the third round of the 2001 DTM clinching his first win in the series.
A crowd of 58,000 attended the event during the weekend. Fassler who started from pole position for the first time crossed the finish line after 28 laps 4.228sec ahead of Bernd Schneider (D2 AMG Mercedes).

Uwe Alzen (Warsteiner AMG Mercedes) finished third ahead of Peter Dumbreck (D2 AMG Mercedes). Schneider maintained his lead in the Drivers' Championship. Abt-Audi TT-R drivers Laurent Aiello, winner of the Nurburgring race two weeks ago, Christian Abt and Mattias Ekstrvm came home fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Timo Scheider was the best Opel driver in twelfth position.

The qualifying race was a clean sweep for Fassler who accelerated to an immediate lead in the main event, followed by Schneider and Alzen. Aiello who had qualified second just 0.010sec behind Fassler was fourth.

On lap 7, Fassler had a small off and Schneider who followed 1.3sec behind took the lead. Four laps later, Fassler came in for his mandatory pit stop (7.9sec) followed by Schneider on lap 13. Fasslers pit crew had the better strategy with the earlier stop which brought the Swiss into the lead again.

Schneider re-joined the race 0.3sec behind Fassler and followed the black car with a gap of less than 0.5sec until the final lap. Three corners before the chequered flag, Schneider went wide onto the grass handing victory to Fassler. Schneider posted the fastest lap of the race on lap 16 with a 1m 23.688s.

Marcel Fassler is the first Swiss DTM winner and said happily: "This is the greatest success of my career. I made a little mistake which cost me the lead, but my pit crew brought me back on top with a good strategy and a quick pit stop."

Bernd Schneider who finished second added: "I'm a little disappointed. My pit stop strategy was not optimum. I stayed out two laps too long, Marcel could go faster during this time with new tyres and my stop was 0.8sec longer. In the end, this cost me the win. On the final lap I tried everything, but it was a little too much and I went wide."

Uwe Alzen came home third 0.981sec behind Schneider and said: "This is my first podium of the year. I have improved from race to race."

Peter Dumbreck (D2 AMG Mercedes) finished fourth. Marcel Tiemann who substituted for injured Bernd Mayldnder in the Eschmann-Stahl AMG Mercedes drove the 2001 CLK for the first time in Saturday's qualifying and was 15th fastest. In the qualifying race he improved to twelfth place and came home eighth in the main event. His team mate Patrick Huisman ended up ninth. Marcel Tiemann: "Get well soon, Bernd, I did as good as possible. I enjoyed my return to the DTM."

Thomas Jager was tenth in the Original-Teile AMG Mercedes, ahead of his team mate Christijan Albers. Darren Turner (Service 24 h AMG Mercedes) was disqualified from 14th place because the tyre marking did not comply with the regulations. His new team mate David Saelens, replacing Pedro Lamy, retired on the penultimate lap after a collision with Opel driver Manuel Reuter.

Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director Norbert Haug commented: "Today we saw good sport in front of a great crowd. This was Marcel's masterpiece. It's hard to imagine that there is more pressure than to know Bernd Schneider is right behind you. The lap times of the leading cars were almost identical and the Abt-Audi followed us closely. Marcel Tiemann did a great job as a substitute driver. We hope that Bernd Maylander will be fine and back with us soon. After talking to the FIA Marcel Fassler will drive the Safety Car in the Monaco Grand Prix. A fine reward for his performance this weekend."

 

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