In the 16th race of the 2016 DTM season, Mattias Ekström has shown that he is by no means an oldtimer yet.
The Swede, who won the DTM championship titles in 2004 and 2007, scored a dominant win in the race on Sunday from his fellow Audi driver Adrien Tambay. After 36 laps, Ekström crossed the finish line 4.350 seconds ahead of the Frenchman and scored his first win of the season, the 22nd victory of his career in the DTM. “Today, I had a fantastic car and I didn’t have to work hard for this win at all,” the Swede said at the finish. “Usually, I had to fight really hard this year and I wasn’t rewarded at the end. Today, it was different.” At Budapest, Mercedes-AMG driver Daniel Juncadella took the chequered flag in third place. For Tambay, second place was his first podium finish since the 2014 season opener. Juncadella was on the podium after a DTM race for the first time ever. In a race with a turbulent start, Marco Wittmann finished fourth and thus extended his points’ lead again. Over the race weekend, 39,500 spectators attended the DTM event in Hungary.
While Ekström drove an undisputed lights-to-flag victory home, for Edoardo Mortara, Jamie Green and Robert Wickens, the race was almost over before it really got started.
Wickens initially lined up at the wrong side of the starting grid and had to start from the back of the grid after an additional formation lap. Pole sitter Mortara had a poor start and had to defend his position from Wittmann on the first few metres. In the process, he damaged his Audi RS 5 DTM. Wittmann and Mortara were given warnings for the collision and an additional pit stop ruined the race for the Italo-Swiss. Jamie Green also became involved in the collision and retired early in the pits.
Prior to the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring, Marco Wittmann is leading the DTM drivers’ standings with 188 points from Edoardo Mortara. The latter has 162 points and, 26 points down, is Wittmann’s only remaining opponent in the battle for the season trophy. After this weekend, Jamie Green (137 points) and Robert Wickens (121 points) are no longer in contention for the title.
The DTM season finale takes place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from October 14-16.