Germany WRX: Ekstrom claims first win in five months
Former World Rallycross champion Mattias Ekstrom claimed his fourth win of the season at Estering, ending Volkswagen's run of dominance.
Ekstrom took the lead of the final at the first corner, ducking inside pole starter Petter Solberg as the Norwegian ran deep into the tight right-hander.
Leading from the front, Ekstrom was never headed as those behind battled over the remaining podium places.
Chased by Peugeot-Hansen driver Kevin Hansen, Solberg again ran wide at Turn 1 on the second tour, allowing Hansen enough of a gap to move into second.
The Swede forced Solberg's Polo further wide, allowing Timmy Hansen through into third.
Solberg immediately elected to remove himself from the leading traffic by taking his joker at the end of the second lap from fourth, but returned to the main circuit over the finish line behind Niclas Gronholm, who had taken his joker at the first opportunity.
At the Estering circuit's tarmac hairpin on the third lap, Timmy Hansen passed his younger brother and stable-mate for second position, Kevin's 2016-specification 208 WRX suffering from broken left rear suspension.
Having taken the opposite route to his EKS team-mate around the first corner, running so wide he reached the gravel trap on the outside, Toomas Heikkinen also passed the younger Hansen at the end of lap three.
Gronholm couldn't find a way through, losing time having already taken his joker.
With Gronholm and Solberg bunched up behind the ailing Hansen, Solberg passed his former WRC rival's son and then cleared Hansen too when the Swede spun in the run to the first corner on the final lap.
At the front of the order Ekstrom, Timmy Hansen and Heikkinen took their jokers on the final lap to claim the top three positions.
Champion Johan Kristoffersson didn't make it into the final, he lost out in the first corner of semi-final two and was sixth on the first lap.
Kevin Eriksson tried to pass Kevin Hansen ahead and spun, his Fiesta was collected by both Sebastien Loeb and Kristoffersson and neither driver made it into the final.
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