Audi driver EkstrÃ¶m fights for podium finish In the ninth DTM race of the 2003 season, Mattias EkstrÃ¶m impressively fought his way up to third place with several excellent overtaking manoeuvres and collected six points. The Swede actually ...
Audi driver Ekström fights for podium finish
In the ninth DTM race of the 2003 season, Mattias Ekström impressively fought his way up to third place with several excellent overtaking manoeuvres and collected six points. The Swede actually started from fourth place on the grid, but lost nine places at the start when he was forced to wait behind his team colleague Martin Tomczyk who had stalled the engine of his Abt-Audi TT-R. Audi Junior Tomczyk fell from his front row starting position back to 14th place, and was forced to retire due to a loose flat-bottom after a collision.
Karl Wendlinger collected his first point of the season. The Austrian inherited eighth place from his team colleague Christian Abt, who, after being held up by a puncture on his Abt-Audi TT-R during the final lap, still finished eleventh. DTM Champion Laurent Aiello was ninth, and the second Audi Junior Peter Terting crossed the finish line fourteenth. Going into the last race of the 2003 DTM season, Mattias Ekström is the best placed Audi driver in the drivers' championship with 38 points in fourth place. Laurent Aiello is fifth with 37 points.
Quotes after the race
Mattias Ekström (Team PlayStation2 Red Bull Abt-Audi TT-R #5):
"The start-finish straight is very narrow, that's why I lost so many places behind Martin's stationary car. Obviously, after that I didn't think about a place on the podium, but thanks to perfect strategy and excellent pit stops it worked out. I really fought hard for it and gave everything. It was a great way to finish after such a bad start."
Peter Terting (S line Audi Junior Team Abt-Audi TT-R #15):
"A hectic race. At the beginning everything was running well, at the first round of pit stops I briefly held third place. Closely fought battles and light touches are often the result of racing at this circuit. I spun once, when I wanted to let Mattias (Ekström) past and ended up in the dirt, at least I could continue. Later I settled into my rhythm and was even able to overtake Joachim Winkelhock."
Martin Tomczyk (S line Audi Junior Team Abt-Audi TT-R #14):
"The botched up start was my mistake. I stalled the engine and had to fire up my TT-R again. The bonnet was loose on my car after the collision in the pit lane, and had to be taped down. However, when I noticed that the flat-bottom was loose I headed for the pits. That was it."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director):
"I'm proud of Mattias' performance. He drove a fantastic race and really earned his place on the winners' rostrum. That also applies to his team, who, despite his delay at the start, made the best of it with a great strategy. A huge compliment goes to the team. Our car was up with the best, the lap times showed this. We'll now focus on the forthcoming final and will attack there as well."