Today was the official appeal hearing for Mattias Ekstrom and Audi Sport, as Team Abt Sportsline had written to the DMSB, questioning the decision to exclude the 35-year-old from a well- deserved race victory at the Norisring. This was after the Swede’s team were classed as having broken Parc Ferme regulations, thanks to Ekstrom’s father squeezing an entire bottle of water into his son’s race suit before the podium celebrations got underway, courtesy of video footage captured on the day itself.
Article 44 of the DTM Sporting Regulations dictate that before scrutineering takes place, no materials or substances can be added to either the driver and his/her race vehicle after the race has finished, which showed a true contravention of the specific regulation. This gave the DMSB no option but to exclude the two-time champion from victory, even though it was through no control of his own primarily.
However, the season again has another twist in the tail, as the DMSB have also decided that Mercedes-Benz’s Robert Wickens will not be the beneficiary of this decision and subsequent appeal, which has meant that the Canadian has now been demoted back to his original finishing position. This is a precedent that has not been set in the DTM, as this will be the race where we see no declared winner after what was an action-packed and strenuous race for the drivers, teams and fans alike.
ITR e.V’s Chairman, Hans Werner Aufrecht was glad to see a conclusion with the matter, as the entire DTM paddock is now in full focus ahead of this weekend’s debut at the Moscow Speedway: “It’s good that the DMSB appeal court has closed this case as we now can look ahead to the coming race held this weekend at the Moscow Raceway without having to deal with an unsettled situation.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt, Team Sportsline’s team boss respected the decision made by the DMSB Court of Appeals, as being in line with the spirit of the sport itself. This, however, has prompted a lot of discussion on social media about the final decision that has been made by the governing body, and is not sitting well with some. It is no longer an open case, as the revs are now set to rise in the land of the Red Square, with the focus being back on the racing, even though there is still a dark cloud above proceedings…