DTM: Ekstrom penalized for lead battle collision

DTM: Ekstrom penalized for lead battle collision

International Racing

DTM: Ekstrom penalized for lead battle collision

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Audi Abt Sportsline driver Mattias Ekstrom has been handed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s second DTM race at the Norisring.

The Swede was battling Robert Wickens for second place midway through the opening race when he outbraked himself and collided with race leader Christian Vietoris at Turn 2.

Wickens was also caught up in the incident with Ekstrom. Both drivers were forced to retire from the race due to damage, while Vietoris went on to finish in 10th.

The stewards investigated the collision after the race and deemed Ekstrom was at fault, giving him a three-place grid drop for race two.

Ekstrom’s Audi Abt teammate Edoardo Mortara moved into the lead after the contact and went on to claim his second victory of the season.

WICKENS FURIOUS WITH EKSTROM

Wickens was in contention for his first win of the 2016 DTM season when he was hit by Ekstrom, and he vented his frustration with the Audi racer afterwards.

“Ekstrom is an idiot; there’s not much more to say,” he said. “I don’t know what he was thinking, that’s it.”

Dieter Gass, head of DTM at Audi Sport, ruled it a racing incident and said the collision was not just his driver’s fault.

“That Mattias wouldn’t do anything like that on purpose should be clear to anyone,” he explained. “We’d have preferred to celebrate our first Norisring victory since 2002 in a slightly different way. But ‘that’s racing.’ The collision between Wickens and Ekstrom was a racing accident of the kind that frequently happens at the Norisring.

“Ekstrom has often thrilled us with his overtaking manoeuvres. This time, it went wrong, which wasn’t his fault alone. We wouldn’t even be discussing it at all if it hadn’t affected a third driver, Christian Vietoris, who was not involved in the manoeuvre.”

Originally on Autosport.com

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