Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011 DTM : Mattias Ekström wins at the Nürburgring

2011 DTM - Nurburgring winner : Mattias Ekström (SWE) #8 Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline - 2009 Red Bull Audi A4 DTM

NÜRBURG : August 7, 2011 - A good start, a faultless race and two quick pit stops. The sixth DTM round of the season at the Nürburgring couldn’t have been better for Swede Mattias Ekström. After 49 laps, the Audi driver scored a dominant lights-to-flag victory. For the 2004 and 2007 DTM champion, it was already his 15th race win in the most popular international touring car series. Ekström after the race: “This was fantastic today. I am enjoying this victory more than all the others before. I had to wait for 15 months for this success, but to me, it seemed like 50 months. That became quite annoying.”

2011 DTM - Nurburgring winner : Mattias Ekström (SWE) #8 Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline - 2009 Red Bull Audi A4 DTM

Mercedes-Benz driver Bruno Spengler was also overjoyed. On the penultimate lap of the race, he overtook Mike Rockenfeller after a great duel and still ended up second. Thus, the Canadian prevented a 1-2 for Audi. Spengler remains in the lead of the drivers’ standings and now has a total of 47 points. “My car was perfect and I noticed that Mike was having some problems. Then he made a mistake and I was able to get past. I had bad luck in qualifying, but today, I had luck. Eight points are a great score after fourth place on the grid”, said a happy Spengler.

In an action-packed race, Timo Scheider showed a great recovery with his Audi A4 DTM, moving up four places to finish fourth. His fellow Audi driver Martin Tomczyk, Spengler’s main rival in the battle for the title, converted seventh place on the grid into fifth place at the finish. The best-placed driver of a 2008-spec car was rewarded with four points. In the drivers’ standings, Tomczyk is seven points down on Spengler. Scheider is ranked third with 29 points.

British driver Jamie Green had a poor start and dropped back from second to sixth place. That was also the position in which the Mercedes-Benz driver crossed the finish line. DTM rookie Edoardo Mortara (Audi) from Italy was classified seventh and thus scored championship points for the third time this season already.

The two ex-Formula 1 drivers Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard (both Mercedes-Benz) caused discussion at the start of the race. After two subsequent collisions, Schumacher retired, Coulthard crossed the finish line in 17th place. The stewards gave both drivers a penalty, suspended for the next race. In case of a further infringement, the driver involved will be dropped three places on the starting grid for the following event.

A total of 86,500 spectators attended the DTM race weekend in the Eifel. The next stop for the 18 DTM drivers is at Brands Hatch (GB) from September 2nd till 4th.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “A very good weekend for Audi. Seven Audis in the top ten are excellent. Mattias is back. After more than one year, he has simply driven a perfect race. I have missed that a little but. Mike had already been under pressure from Bruno for a few laps. I already thought that he would make it for the two remaining laps. At those places where Bruno could have overtaken, the gap was always big enough. Too bad that it still went wrong, but up to that point, Rocky had been driving a very good race.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Today, Bruno can consider himself as the winner. He has extended his lead in the drivers’ standings and has shown a performance that is worthy of a champion. Yesterday, he had bad luck in qualifying when he had the worst weather in the final heat, the single-lap qualifying for the best four drivers. Great that he has still turned his fourth place on the grid into second place in the race. He stayed closely behind Rocky, has put him under pressure and thus forced him into a mistake.”

The race at a glance

Air temperature: 16.5 °C
Asphalt temperature: 25.4 °C
Spectators during the race weekend: 86.500

Start Ekström leads, Rockenfeller moves up into second place. Vietoris spins at the back of the field in the Mercedes Arena.
Lap 1 Ekström is leading from Rockenfeller, Spengler, Mortara, Scheider.
Lap 2 Schumacher pushes Coulthard, they both go wide in the Mercedes Arena. Schumacher is then pushed by Coulthard and spins coming out of the Merceds Arena, Schumacher gets out of the car and retires.
Lap 4 Coulthard's car is dented at the front following the battle with Schumacher - he gets a black and orange flag.
Lap 5 Coulthard comes into the pits to have the bonnet of his car replaced.
Lap 6 Coulthard under investigation.
Lap 7 Paffett attacks Molina for eighth place.
Lap 9 Albuquerque and Paffett side by side, Albuquerque and Van der Zande overtake the Brit, Paffett drops back to eleventh.
Lap 11 Albuquerque overtakes Molina and is now eighth, Paffett past Van der Zande for tenth.
Lap 12 Scheider past Mortara for fourth. Martin Tomczyk is the first to come in for his pit stop, Paffett, Molina, Van der Zande also into the pits.
Lap 13 Green, Mortara, Stoddart, Frey into the pits. Tomczyk has moved up two positions after his stop.
Lap 14 Scheider, Albuquerque, Engel into the pits.
Lap 15 Rockenfeller, Spengler, Vietoris, into the pits.
Lap 16 Ekström into the pits.
Lap 17 Ekström returns ahead of Rockenfeller, Spengler and Tomczyk. Jarvis has yet to make his first stop and is in first place.
Lap 18 Jarvis into the pits.
Lap 19 Order after the first pit stops: Ekström is leading from Rockenfeller, Spengler, Tomczyk, Scheider, Mortara, Green, Albuquerque, Molina, Paffett.
Lap 20 Scheider has overtaken Tomczyk and is now fourth.
Lap 23 Green is the first to come into the pits for the second stop.
Lap 24 Tomczyk, Jarvis into the pits. Coulthard comes in for his first mandatory stop.
Lap 25 Van der Zande into the pits.
Lap 26 Engel into the pits.
Lap 27 Molina, Vietoris into the pits.
Lap 28 Paffett, Stoddart, Frey into the pits.
Lap 30 Engel off the track at the Sprint-loop after a battle with Vietoris, Mortara into the pits.
Lap 31 Spengler, Scheider, Albuquerque into the pits.
Lap 32 Rockenfeller into the pits.
Lap 33 Ekström into the pits.
Lap 34 All drivers but Coulthard having made two stops, Ekström is leading from Rockenfeller, Spengler, Scheider, Tomczyk, Green, Mortara, Paffett, Albuquerque and Jarvis.
Lap 35 Coulthard into the pits.
Lap 39 Spengler attacks Rockenfeller for second.
Lap 41 Coulthard is pushing behind fourth-placed Scheider, although Coulthard is one lap down.
Lap 48 Rockenfeller locks up under braking for the first corner. He runs wide, Spengler goes past.
Lap 49 Final lap.
Finish Ekström wins from Spengler, Rockenfeller, Scheider, Tomczyk, Green and Mortara. Paffett, Albuquerque and Jarvis round out the top ten.

2011 DTM - Nurburgring : Race result

2011 DTM : Drivers' Championship

2011 DTM : Teams' Championship

Images : 2011 DTM - Nurburgring


[Source : DTM - Official]


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