Mortara Triumphs In Three-Way Fight For Spielberg Victory

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Edoardo Mortara - Photo Credit: Audi Motorsport

Mortara kept Tomczyk and Paffett behind - Photo Credit: Audi Motorsport

Edoardo Mortara converted his maiden DTM pole position into his first victory, after the Audi driver won out in a frantic three-way battle with BMW's Martin Tomczyk and Mercedes' Gary Paffett at Spielberg in Austria.

Italian sophomore driver Mortara was actually beaten off the line by championship leader Paffett, but took advantage of his position on the racing line to turn into the first corner ahead.

Tomczyk had started fourth, but while Mattias Ekstrom got held up on the inside of the corner behind Paffett, the defending champion drove around the outside and off the track to take third. Ekstrom regained the place under braking for turn two, only for Tomczyk to move back ahead at the following corner after Ekstrom ran wide trying to go around the outside of Paffett.

Meanwhile there was chaos further back at turn two. Adrien Tambay and Dirk Werner made contact before the corner, Tambay running straight on and Werner retiring to the pits. Christian Vietoris ran wide on to the run-off to get around the ailing Werner, but rejoined in the path of Andy Priaulx – the contact between the two sending Vietoris into the barrier and forcing Priaulx to join Werner in retiring to the pits.

The safety car came out until the end of lap five, after which Mortara retained the lead over Paffett and Tomczyk, through the first of the mandatory pitstops.

At the second stops, Paffett was the first to come in, with Mortara rejoining a lap later just in front. Paffett used his speed advantage to pull alongside heading down to turn two, but Mortara forced him wide and on to the grass to remain in front.

It was Tomczyk's turn to stop a lap later, and he came out between the battling Mortara and Paffett. Tomczyk looked for a way past and pushed Mortara under braking, but Mortara held onto his lead while Tomczyk had to start defending from Paffett.

Mortara crossed the line a second ahead of Tomczyk, scoring the first DTM victory not just for himself but also for Audi's new A5 model. Paffett finished third to score his fourth podium finish from as many races so far this season and strengthen his points lead.

Ekstrom and Jamie Green joined the leading trio in the closing stages and finished fourth and fifth, Ekstrom's fourth moving him into second in the points on 47, with Paffett on 83.

Timo Scheider ended up in the gravel on lap eight after contact from Augusto Farfus, but was the last man to make his second pitstop and rejoined in sixth.

Joey Hand was poised for his best DTM result in seventh until slipping behind Mike Rockenfeller and Filipe Albuquerque just a few laps from the end. He held on to ninth just ahead of Farfus.

Bruno Spengler sustained damage early on, hampering his speed. Later contact would result in his race ending during his second pit stop.

The next round takes place at the Norising on 1 July.

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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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