Norisring fans wowed by Tourenwagen Classics race
Norisring DTM fans were given a wonderful nostalgia trip last weekend as the Tourenwagen Classics series joined the bill for the Nuremberg street track’s annual racing festival.
Tourenwagen Classics features mainly DTM machinery from the mid-1980s up to ’96, by which time it had evolved into the high-tech, high-budget, short-lived and much-loved ITC.
Stefan Rupp, driving an ex-Fisichella Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI, took pole position and the beautiful sounding red machine was the class of the field for most of the race before it ground to a halt with a couple of laps remaining, with smoke billowing from the Alfa’s overheating engine.
Rupp wouldn’t have won anyway, because he’d been black-flagged for ignoring a drive-through penalty called because he had broken the pitlane speed limit during his mandatory stop.
By the time of Rupp’s retirement, the only other machine from the very latest days of the ultimate Class 1 V6 touring cars had also been sidelined.
Jorg Hatscher, driving the Mercedes C-Class crashed at the Norisring by Jan Magnussen in 1996, smacked the wall exiting the chicane with seven laps to go, suspension damage putting him out of the race.
That left victory to Thorsten Stadler in his ex-Ellen Lohr 1994 Mercedes C-Class, while former BMW works driver Altfrid Heger took a 1991-spec ex-Bigazzi BMW M3 to second place.
Richard Weber, driving an ex-MM Diebels team M3, couldn’t fend off Heger, but took third ahead of former DTM champion and Opel sports chief Volker Strycek, who was driving the 1991 Opel Omega test car.
Another ex-DTM racer, former BMW junior team ace Marc Hessel, shared an M3 to fifth place with Stephan Piepenbrink.
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