EkstrÃ¶m triumphs in Zandvoort, Albers' title hopes alive Audi driver Mattias EkstrÃ¶m enjoyed an emphatic victory in a turbulent DTM race in Zandvoort. The Swede won in his Audi A4 DTM ahead of his team mate Martin Tomczyk and Dutchman...
Ekström triumphs in Zandvoort, Albers' title hopes alive
Audi driver Mattias Ekström enjoyed an emphatic victory in a turbulent DTM race in Zandvoort. The Swede won in his Audi A4 DTM ahead of his team mate Martin Tomczyk and Dutchman Christijan Albers in an AMG-Mercedes C-class. Bolstered by 61 points, Ekström has now extended his lead over Albers (48 points) to 13 points in the overall standings with just two races remaining.
Briton Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) kept alive his hopes of the championship title with a fourth place for a total of 45 points. DTM champion Bernd Schneider retired from the battle for the championship with his fifth place as did Audi driver Tom Kristensen as sixth.
Manuel Reuter was the best Opel driver, ending the race in eighth with his Opel Vectra GTS V8 behind Emanuele Pirro (Audi). 73,000 spectators over the racing weekend represented yet another record for the DTM this season.
Peter Dumbreck survived a spectacular crash in the 24th lap. He veered off-course going into the start and finish and with a speed of some 200 kph rammed into a stack of tyres set up in front of the crash barrier. His car somehow got hooked in and flipped over several times. The bodywork was destroyed in the process.
The race was interrupted after the accident. Race control decided on a restart - after the car was retrieved and repairs were carried out on the safety installations - as less than 75 percent of the planned racing distance had been completed.
According to DTM regulations the distance was then shortened and only 10 laps were raced. The starting grid corresponded to the drivers' positions two laps before the race was halted, in line with regulations.
In the DTM's partner series, the Formula 3 Euro Series, Briton Jamie Green secured the overall title early with his fifth win of the season in Zandvoort.
Mattias Ekström (1st place, Audi A4 DTM)
"This is a great day for me. My car was just perfect, my first start brilliant and I absolutely controlled the race until it was stopped due to the accident. It was a bit harder after the new start. I'm very pleased for my team mate Martin Tomczyk as well as our double victory. An advantage of 13 points may be a good cushion, but you can never feel too safe in the DTM."
Martin Tomczyk (2nd place, Audi A4 DTM)
"I had a brilliant race. I started in fourth position and crossed the finish line as second. That pleases me. The race was relatively easy as the gap to the Mercedes-Benz drivers was always big enough. That's why they couldn't really pressure me."
Christijan Albers (3rd place, AMG-Mercedes C-class)
"It was yet another fantastic home race for me. The atmosphere and the amount of fans were even better than last year. It's just great to be supported by the spectators. I'm pleased for the fans that I drove onto the podium despite starting in seventh position."
Manuel Reuter (8th place, Opel Vectra GTS V8)
"I'm not satisfied with my result today as a finish in the top five would have been realistic. We were competitive. From a sporting point of view it's frustrating that I was in sixth position before the race was stopped, but that I was pushed two places back in the restart due to regulations."
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi Motorsport Director:
"It was a good day for us: Mattias Ekström and Martin Tomczyk were damn fast and our teams pulled off excellent pit stops. It was an incredibly tough race from the first to the last minute as we had very strong rivals. That's why we're even happier about Audi's double success - and also that Mattias has brilliantly extended his lead in the championship."
Volker Strycek Opel Motorsport Director:
"The best news of the day is that Peter Dumbreck is well. Peter is already back sitting with his racing engineer looking at the data recordings. The cause of the accident was that Peter was too fast and came a bit off his line. The problem was that the car practically got hooked into the stack of tyres and therefore flipped over several times. The crash would certainly have been much more serious had there not have been that tyre stack. It says a lot for the high safety standards of the DTM cars that nothing happened to Peter."
Norbert Haug Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director:
"First of all I'd like to congratulate the organisers for a very successful racing weekend. Zandvoort is a fantastic race track and we're pleased with yet another record amount of spectators this year. 13 points behind Mattias Ekström is quite a lot for Christijan Albers with two races left before the season ends, but I promise that we will fight until the end."