On Saturday Mattias Ekström won in front of Jamie Green and Nico Müller. Ekström laid the foundation for his first victory this season and 23rd in total in his DTM career in qualifying. From position three on the grid the Swede from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline initially managed to overtake his teammate Nico Müller and, five laps before the finish, Jamie Green (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) as well, who had been leading the race up until that time and, following his pit stop, was running on used tyres.
“The basis for the good race result was qualifying, which I was very proud of,” said Mattias Ekström. “That hasn’t really been my greatest strength. From position three on the grid behind two Audi colleagues, the main thing was to stay in front of Marco Wittmann at the start. Fortunately, I managed to do that. Afterwards, everything went perfectly. Although, at first glance, I have a big advantage now, the tables can turn very quickly again in the DTM.”
On Sunday Mattias Ekström took fifth place, so defending his lead in the drivers’ standings. From grid position eight the Swede had to battle extremely hard for his ten points. Ekström chose a risky strategy and changed tyres as early as on lap one. When the safety car was deployed shortly before the end of the race Ekström, running on the oldest tyres in the field, was fighting with his back against the wall. Still, in the final hectic stage the DTM leader managed to overtake BMW driver Marco Wittmann and to bring home fifth place.
The man dominating the whole event on Sunday was Jamie Green. The Briton again put his Audi RS 5 DTM on pole position and set the pace in the race right from the start. With his teammate, René Rast, following in his slipstream, Audi Sport Team Rosberg seemed to be headed for a one-two win until the front runner, three laps before the finish, suddenly lost speed and with shifting problems dropped to 14th place.
As a result, René Rast celebrated the third victory in his impressive DTM rookie season. “For me, personally, it was obviously a superb result,” said Rast. “But I’m very sorry for Jamie. He would have deserved victory today. On the one hand, we can be happy that we’ve won the race. On the other hand, we’re a little sad that it didn’t turn out a one-two win.”
“With two one-two-three wins it was a superb weekend for Audi,” says the Head of Audi Motorsport, summing up the event. “We weren’t sure where we’d stand with the same weight in comparison to our two competitors. We were pleased to see that the RS 5 DTM at the Red Bull Ring with the same prerequisites for all three manufacturers was the fastest and, above all, the most consistent car. That we were perfectly sorted already on Saturday was another crucial factor. It was obvious that the field in qualifying on Sunday was clearly closer together and that, as a result, racing was more spectacular. In both races, we saw fantastic teamwork in our squad.”