DTM: Ekstrom wins wet race at Spielberg
Mattias Ekstrom is the winner of the DTM race 2 at Spielberg. The Audi driver led from start to finish and completed a nice weekend for the Ingolstadt manufacturer in Austria.
Conditions were far harder than on Saturday as the track was wet after heavy rain. That’s why the start of the race was delayed for 15 minutes and it was decided to start under the safety car. After 11 minutes and five laps, the safety car went into the garage and the drivers got almost 50 minutes to show what they could do.
Mattias Ekstrom had a 3.7 seconds lead ahead of another Audi driver, Mike Rockenfeller. They were followed by two Mercedes’ with Gary Paffett and Pascal Wehrlein, while the best BMW driver at the moment, Martin Tomczyk was at 12th place. Many drivers decided on a mandatory pit-stop in the early stage of the race which caused a shuffle in the rankings.
Wehrlein lost a few places after sliding out of the track, but Paffett moved up to the second spot overtaking Rockenfeller. Saturday’s race winner Edoardo Mortara moved up to fourth leaving Robert Wickens on fifth with 35 minutes to go, but finally one BMW driver sneaked into the points zone as Antonio Felix Da Costa was 10th. Despite that, each of the top 10 drivers still had to finish pit-stop.
After all the drivers completed pit-stop and there were still 20 minutes to go, Ekstrom continued to lead ahead of Paffett, Mortara and Rockenfeller, while Nico Muller in Audi was fifth. Once again, there wasn’t any BMW driver in the top 10 as Da Costa was the best ranked at 12th.
Paffett pushed hard to overtake Ekstrom, but Swede’s lead never was in doubt and he claimed his second victory of the season and took the lead in the championship. At third spot, with a gap of 23.5 seconds, was Edoardo Mortara who is now second in the overall standings after Pascal Wehrlein was forced to retire at the very late stage of the race. Mike Rockenfeller finished fourth, Nico Muller fifth and Timo Scheider sixth to complete the list of five Audis in the top six.
The seventh place was won by Lucas Auer, eighth was Maximilan Gotz leaving Christian Vietoris on ninth and Paul Di Resta on 10th position.