Ekstrom wins in wild Norisring finish

Ekstrom wins in wild Norisring finish

DTM

Ekstrom wins in wild Norisring finish

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Mattias Ekstrom ended Audi’s 11-year wait for a Norisring DTM victory while Gary Paffett and Edoardo Mortara ended the race in the wall following an acrimonious scrap for third.

Ekstrom lay fourth when the safety car pulled in on lap 16; its appearance a legacy of Martin Tomczyk and Daniel Juncadella banging doors exiting Turn 1 and putting the RMG BMW in the wall.

Abt driver Ekstrom quickly dispatched champion Bruno Spengler’s Schnitzer BMW and the HWA Mercedes of polesitter and early leader Robert Wickens to take second and close in on Mortara. Both Mortara and Ekstrom owed their strong track positions to having pitted before the safety car came out, with the strategies of Wickens and Spengler having been compromised.

The pair ran long on option rubber, each pitting for the final time inside the final 10 laps. Birthday boy Ekstrom then had a big enough gap to coast home and take his first victory since the end of the 2011 season.

Mortara moved across on Paffett firmly as he exited the pits following that stop; the HWA Mercedes driver — who had made both his mandatory stops during the early safety car period — being forced to move outside the track limits to complete a pass.

A lap later, with Mortara attempting to reverse the order, the Rosberg Audi driver hit his rival up the rear, causing his own car front-end damage and forcing Paffett off the track at a cost of three places.

Wickens passed both for second swiftly and as the advancing Christian Vietoris tried to do likewise, Paffett and Mortara found themselves side-by-side at Turn 4 with a lap to go. The inevitable collision happened; Paffett spinning out and Mortara ending up in the wall.

That collision promoted Juncadella to a career-best fourth place and Mike Rockenfeller and Spengler to fifth and sixth. The result gives Rockenfeller a two-point lead over Spengler in the championship.

Andy Priaulx ran strongly inside the top six for the first half of the race, but he spent too long on standard tyres during his middle stint and faded to ninth by the finish.

After qualifying badly, Jamie Green’s bid for a fifth Norisring win in sixth years was never likely to come to fruition. A right-rear puncture with 20 laps to go compounded a poor race.

Results - 83 laps:Pos  Driver              Team/Car            Time/Gap 1.  Mattias Ekstrom     Abt Audi        1h12m14.698s 2.  Robert Wickens      HWA Mercedes         +2.646s 3.  Christian Vietoris  HWA Mercedes         +6.282s 4.  Daniel Juncadella   Mucke Mercedes       +7.039s 5.  Mike Rockenfeller   Phoenix Audi         +8.411s 6.  Bruno Spengler      Schnitzer BMW       +17.083s 7.  Roberto Merhi       HWA Mercedes        +18.594s 8.  Joey Hand           RBM BMW             +31.198s 9.  Andy Priaulx        RMG BMW             +34.909s10.  Marco Wittmann      MTEK BMW            +35.595s11.  Dirk Werner         Schnitzer BMW       +40.426s12.  Filipe Albuquerque  Rosberg Audi        +42.675s13.  Timo Glock          MTEK BMW            +42.867s14.  Miguel Molina       Phoenix Audi        +44.568s15.  Adrien Tambay       Abt Audi            +54.091s16.  Augusto Farfus      RBM BMW               +1 lapRetirements:     Edoardo Mortara     Rosberg Audi         81 laps     Gary Paffett        HWA Mercedes         81 laps     Jamie Green         Abt Audi             65 laps     Pascal Wehrlein     Mucke Mercedes       65 laps     Martin Tomczyk      RMG BMW              11 laps     Timo Scheider       Abt Audi              0 laps

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 8 – WATKINS GLEN

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