In the blazing German sun, Mattias Ekström finished off his 2014 season in style, taking victory at the DTM season finale at Hockenheim. The 42-lap race saw its fair share of high-speed overtakes, incidents and a Safety Car period. The combination of events led to an eventual two-lap shoot out to the checkered flag, with the fireworks at the start/finish straight rounding of the season in the style customary with the DTM.
The Swede finished 2.4 seconds ahead of outgoing champion Mike Rockenfeller, with Britain’s Jamie Green rounding off another clean sweep of the top three for Audi Sport. The Ingolstadt outfit secured the manufacturers’ standings 30 points ahead of BMW Motorsport with their performance this afternoon, having come into the round with a 21-point deficit.
Ekström takes the runner-up spot in the drivers’ standings, 50 points behind this year’s champion, Marco Wittmann, who finished fifth behind Mercedes-Benz’s Paul Di Resta. Timo Scheider finished sixth, with Martin Tomczyk, Robert Wickens, pole sitter Miguel Molina and António Félix da Costa rounding out the top ten.
The start was chaotic, as several drivers went wide at turn one, with Tambay being hit with a drive-through penalty for a jump start, as the French driver served it quickly, but had no real answer as he dropped to the back of the grid. He clashed heavily with Vitaly Petrov on the final lap of the race at Motodrom, with a lot of damage to both cars.
Maxime Martin was the first driver to retire, having suffered initial contact through Timo Glock early on, but was ordered by race control to park his M4 DTM on lap 28. Edoardo Mortara was the next to be a casualty of the race on Lap 31, with his RS5 DTM suffering front end damage, as Joey Hand went up the inside going into the Mobil-1-Kurve and the pair came together.
Daniel Juncadella was also out of the race on lap 37 after a tight battle with Bruno Spengler. The Spaniard confirmed on the radio that he suffered a left rear puncture, which saw him fly sideways through the gravel and into the wall into Motodrom, bringing out the only Safety Car period of the race.
Pascal Wehrlein suffered in the race, as the 20-year-old was given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe release in the pits on lap 22, which saw him side-by-side with Timo Scheider. He ended up retiring on the penultimate lap.
Gary Paffett was able to turn the tide around, but had to settle for 11th, with Timo Glock making steady progress to 12th after a difficult start to the race. Bruno Spengler was also out of the points behind the ex-F1 driver, with Nico Müller finishing ahead of Christian Vietoris for fourteenth. Team RBM’s Joey Hand and Augusto Farfus had their fair share of dramas going up and down the field, but were the last of the field to cross the finish line after difficult seasons for the pair.
Now it is time for the DTM to head into a long winter break, as all will recharge their batteries before refocusing their efforts towards next year. This season has been dramatic and has had its ups and downs, but the new campaign will come around sooner than you might think. The V8-powered monsters are now being put to rest before everything is reset for the build up to racing once again here at Hockenheim.