Ekstrom Takes Straightforward Win At The Nurburgring

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Mattias Ekstrom scored his first victory of the 2011 DTM season with a comfortable victory in a processional race at the Nurburgring. Championship leader Bruno Spengler took second place after a mistake from Mike Rockenfeller on the penultimate lap in a rare moment of action during the 49 lap race.

Ekstrom made a good start from pole position, and although Rockenfeller stayed close early on the Swede remained on top through the two pitstops to win by five seconds.

Rockenfeller had Spengler for close company for the entire race, and Spengler's constant pressure paid off when Rockenfeller went too deep into Turn 1 on the penultimate lap. The Canadian capitalised and took second place, extending his championship lead.

Jamie Green started the race on the front row alongside Ekstrom but fell back to sixth at the start. Edoardo Mortara and Timo Scheider moved ahead of him into fourth and fifth as Green made contact with Martin Tomczyk through the opening corners.

Scheider took fourth place from Mortara before the first stops, and although the former two-time champion took the checkered flag in the same position, it wouldn't all be plain sailing as Tomczyk came into play.

Tomczyk stopped one lap earlier than Mortara and Green, allowing him to move ahead of both of them. Scheider stopped on the following lap, and came out just behind Tomczyk. However, he found a way back past on lap 19 and remained there through the second stops and to the finish. Green benefited from an early second stop to jump ahead of Mortara and take sixth.

Gary Paffett finished eighth after fighting his way through from 13th on the grid after a poor qualifying. He climbed to ninth on the opening lap, but got caught up behind Miguel Molina and was passed by both Filipe Albuqerque and Renger van der Zande at Turn 1 on lap eight as a result.

By the time the second stops were over Paffett had climbed up to eighth, with Albuquerque and Oliver Jarvis completing the top ten at the checkered flag.

Former Grand Prix winners David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher had a tussle at the start of the second lap. Schumacher tapped Coulthard in the rear under-breaking for Turn 1, and Coulthard returned the favour at Turn 2 after Schumacher had squeezed past. It pitched the German into a spin and he retired. Coulthard had to make a stop to replace his front end, finishing the race a lap down.

Spengler's lead in the standings now stands at seven points ahead of Tomczyk, with Scheider next up but 11 points further behind. The next round takes place at Brands Hatch on 4th September.

Race results – 49 laps:

Pos. Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Mattias Ekström Abt Audi 1:11:19.980
2. Bruno Spengler HWA Mercedes 5.533
3. Mike Rockenfeller Abt Audi 7.906
4. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 13.977
5. Martin Tomczyk Phoenix Audi 15.656
6. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 17.841
7. Edoardo Mortara Roberg Audi 18.917
8. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 19.696
9. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 22.516
10. Oliver Jarvis Abt Audi 35.080
11. Renger van der Zande Persson Mercedes 35.717
12. Miguel Molina Abt Audi 37.252
13. Christian Vietoris Persson Mercedes 38.090
14. Susie Stoddart Persson Mercedes 45.201
15. Maro Engel Mucke Mercedes 50.747
16. Rahel Frey Phoenix Audi 1:06.678
17. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes + 1 lap
Ret Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 1 lap

Drivers' standings after 6 of 10 races:

1. Bruno Spengler, 47 points
2. Martin Tomczyk, 40
3. Timo Scheider, 29
4. Jamie Green, 24
5. Mattias Ekstrom, 21
6. Mike Rockenfeller, 20

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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