Mattias Ekström takes DTM win at Hockenheim

Mattias Ekström  (photo by DTM)With an overwhelming victory for Audi, the 2014 DTM season came to an end.

The brand from Ingolstadt had a clean sweep of the first three places in the season finale at Hockenheim and secured the manufacturers’ title in the most popular international touring car series. Victory in the race went to Mattias Ekström, who concludes the season as the runner-up in the drivers’ standings. “Winning the race in front of such a great crowd is fantastic. After such an eventful year, bowing out of the season with a success is a good feeling. Over the year, we had many ups and downs. Today, once again, it was hard, but fair. That is simply a part of the DTM,” the Swede said after his second consecutive victory. Mike Rockenfeller and Jamie Green rounded out the podium after finishing second and third respectively. In total, 155,000 spectators attended the tenth race weekend of the year.

In the closing stages of the race, Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) and Marco Wittmann had a thrilling duel for fourth place. Eventually, Di Resta prevailed with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé and finished ahead of the German. “Initially, I had a difficult start and lost some positions as a result. I would have loved to catch Jamie Green for a podium finish as well, but fourth place is quite good, too. Thanks to my team members, who really have done an incredible job,” a happy Di Resta said.
Marco Wittmann had already secured himself the championship title in the Lausitzring round. After a successful season, the German had a rather patchy final race meeting. Fifth place for the BMW driver in the season finale at Hockenheim was the result of a race with plenty of progress for the BMW driver. After a disappointing qualifying, the German only started 13th into the race. “I reckon I got the maximum out of it. My starting grid position for this race wasn’t the best. In the DTM, things are so close that it is difficult to make progress. As a result, I can be all the more happy with my fifth place,” the four times’ race winner looks back upon the season.

Timo Scheider (Audi RS 5 DTM), Martin Tomczyk (BMW M4 DTM) und Robert Wickens (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished in sixth, seventh and eighth place respectively. Pole-sitter Miguel Molina crossed the finish line in ninth position. Immediately after the start, the Spaniard lost the lead to Mattias Ekström. In an attempt to claim back first place, Molina locked up under braking and dropped back significantly as a result. Pascal Wehrlein had even more bad luck: the Mercedes-Benz driver was on course for a podium finish until his tyre change. As race control judged his release after the pit stop to be unsafe, the youngster was given a drive-through penalty, after which all his hopes of scoring a top result were blown.
Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “I am not only happy with this 1-2-3, but especially with victory for Mattias Ekström. There was so much talk about the young guns this year, and then this old hand comes up and scores two wins in a row. We are very happy with the manufacturers’ title. However, as we are well aware that the drivers’ title get some more public awareness, we definitely want that one back again next year, too.”

Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Today, Audi has shown a top team result, we didn’t have a chance against them. We could have avoided the penalty for Pascal Wehrlein. This mistake happened to us in the heat of the moment. Even though we weren’t able to win a title this year, we still were able to give a hint of our potential in 2014. With our three victories, we don’t have to be ashamed.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “In qualifying yesterday, not everything went perfectly. When starting from the midfield, you can’t expect to be all the way up front, in spite of good performances by our entire team in the race. Of course, I am really happy with the outcome of the season. We have won the drivers’ and teams’ titles. In the last three years, we have won six out of nine titles. That is not too bad for a DTM novice, which I think we still are.”

Written by