Mattias Ekström happy to be leading DTM standings at halfway point


Credit: Audi AG

Mattias Ekström has once again recaptured the lead of the 2017 DTM championship after a spectacular drive saw him take a second place finish in the second race of the Moscow weekend.

An early safety car period had left Ekström at a disadvantage as he had yet to pit after leading the race in the opening stages; dropping as low as tenth place the Swede was left with it all to do as he battled his way back through the field.

The double DTM champion was in third place entering the penultimate lap but following a fiece dual managed to pass the reigning champion Marco Wittmann‘s BMW for second place. While Ekström conitnued to push on, the time ran out and despite lapping faster than eventual winnner Maro Engel, finished 0.376 seconds short of the Mercedes-Benz driver.

“After Budapest, this is the second time a safety car cost me victory,” Ekström said after the race. “In the beginning, I was battling for the lead with Bruno (Spengler).

“On the long run, I was faster and able to overtake him. As a result of the safety car, the cards were reshuffled. From then on, it was a highly entertaining race.

“In the end, I’m very happy with second place today, 20 points from qualifying and the races, plus the lead of the standings.”

Credit: Audi AG

Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass was delighted with the action-packed race, “That was an incredibly thrilling race, from lights to flag, there were gripping duels and overtaking maneuvers.

“This race had everything DTM fans would like to see. Without the safety car we might have been able to win today as well. But even so, it was a good result for us on the whole, with three cars in the points, plus one podium.

“In all the championships, we’re now in a good position.”

Ekström now leads the championship by one point over fellow Audi stablemate René Rast. Mercedes-Benz driver Lucas Auer is in third place while Jamie Green hangs on in fourth place after a promising start to the year has turned in to a frustrating time over the last few races.

DTM continues at Zandvoort on August 19 and 20.