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Mattias Ekstrom loses historic Norisring victory
Neu-Isenburg/Germany, July 15th, 2013 - Hours earlier, spectators had watched an action-packed race at the Norisring, in which Mattias Ekstrom, who had started from ninth place, continuously made ground and finally took the lead in lap 63. When the Swede was the first to cross the finish line ahead of Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) and the latter’s fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers Christian Vietoris and Daniel Juncadella, everyone thought they had witnessed a historic win by the Audi driver. However, soon after the race, the stewards assembled and at 8.10 pm, they made the judgement which was hard for Audi and Ekstrom.
As a result, Mike Rockenfeller, current leader in the drivers’ standings, was promoted to fourth place and defended his leading position ahead of Bruno Spengler (BMW), who came in fifth. Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett and Edoardo Mortara (Audi) had to abandon their cars following a collision just moments before the end of the race. The two hot-headed drivers are therefore on probation for the next two rounds. Should one of the two commit another offence, he will be dropped five places on the grid for the following race.
Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz): “It was a crazy race and the tyres lasted very well. Especially the option tyre in my last stint was great. Perhaps, I should have pushed a little bit more at the beginning, but I am really happy with my second place, the best result of my DTM career.”
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz): “I don’t know yet what to think about the race. In the early stages, I was the last car on the track by far, but at the end, we had the right tyres on. The option tyre lasted very long, so that we could move up all the way through the field quickly and make it onto the podium.”
Bruno Spengler (BMW): “I was impressed how long the option tyres lasted today, with the tremendous heat, the track surface, the bumps and the huge load because of the continuous heavy braking. Driving with them was great fun, although unfortunately, my race wasn’t optimal.”