Only 14 days after his swift attack in Spielberg, Mattias Ekström inspired the DTM fans once again with another fantastic comeback drive: in Sunday’s race at the Lausitzring, the Swede from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline fought his way from ninth on the grid to second and, in doing so, put himself in the thick of the title battle as best placed Audi driver in the points before the Norisring race on June 25–26.
During the successful maiden Motorsport Festival at the Lausitzring and the stunning backdrop of 67,500 spectators, Ekström remained true to his motto “Go hard or go home”. In his Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, Ekström made up two places immediately at the start, and later prevailed in a brand internal duel with Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Rosberg) and, as in Spielberg, delayed his tire change as long as possible. Ekström only entered the pits on the 31st of 46 laps and with his fresher tires took second place from the Canadian Robert Wickens in a Mercedes-Benz just before the end of the race.
“This is what racing is all about,” said a delighted Ekström after crossing the finish line. “My car was good in qualifying, but it was only enough for ninth on the grid. However, in the longer races on Sunday you can achieve a great deal with experience, strategy as well as the necessary pace. This was the case today.”
Jamie Green produced yet another strong performance: the Briton won an exciting duel with his countryman Gary Paffett in a Mercedes-Benz and only missed the podium by 0.348 seconds after finishing fourth. The Audi driver recorded a 1m 17.840s to set a new lap record.
Nico Müller in the Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM finished eighth on Sunday at the Lausitzring to ensure that three Audi drivers scored points and that Audi made up 65 points on BMW in the manufacturers’ classification. In the drivers’ classification with Ekström (46 points), Green (45 points) and Edoardo Mortara (44 points), three Audi drivers are now ranked in the top five.
Starting from 22nd on the grid, Mortara also produced a notable comeback drive, during which he made up no less than ten positions. At his pit stop on lap 32 he was involved in an incident in which a mechanic from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline was injured and was transported to a nearby hospital for further checks, where a broken right foot was diagnosed.
Timo Scheider (AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM/both Audi Sport Team Phoenix) finished 16th and 17th. Rockenfeller started the race from the second row as best Audi driver. However, because his car rolled forward briefly before the start he was handed a drive-through penalty.
Saturday’s winner Miguel Molina also had to drive through the pits in his Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM, after colliding earlier with Augusto Farfus’ BMW under braking for turn 1. The Spaniard finished 19th one place ahead of Adrien Tambay (Speedweek.com Audi RS 5 DTM).
“Mattias (Ekström) and Jamie (Green) produced excellent performances again today,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “With the one-two yesterday and second place today, we can be very pleased with this weekend. We saw that the performance of the Audi RS 5 DTM is good. The incident in the pits was obviously very unlucky. We wish the mechanic concerned a quick recovery.”
No comments yet.