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Zandvoort: Ekstrom battles through 'lack of pace' for seventh

Audi's Mattias Ekstrom battled through a lack of ultimate pace to recover a seventh place finish during the second Zandvoort DTM race.
Audi's Mattias Ekstrom has admitted in battling with a lack of pace at Zandvoort as the Team Abt Sportsline driver came away from the fifth DTM weekend with 12-points to his name.

Ekstrom endured two identical race days at the Dutch circuit after qualifying ninth and finishing seventh in both races.

A poor start in race two impeded Ekstrom's progress but the former double-champion was able to pick his way back up to ninth, which later became seventh after Robert Wickens and Christian Vietoris both dropped from the points due to their punctures.

The Audi veteran said a less than perfect set-up when the track gripped up in qualifying but him on the back foot towards the end of the top-ten.

"Realistically, after qualifying in ninth and making a bad start, seventh was OK," Ekstrom told Crash.net. "Seventh came because of the punctures for others, but shit happens. I'm sure if you stop early that can happen but we stayed out longer. Anyway, some points but not as many as I wished for.

"It looks like the guys who pitted earlier might have had an easier race. It's easier to know after the race than during. Anyway, I think from dropping to 11th at the start to finish P7, we were lucky to get some extra points because of the punctures from Mercedes.

"We didn't have a good enough set up when the track gripped up. Also, whilst running the high fuel load, we were never really perfect. Not much to say other than we weren't as spot on as I had wished.

"It was a solid Audi weekend with good points but we wished it was more."

Ekstrom came into the weekend in need of good haul in points after losing a huge chunk of ground following his Norisring drama.

The 38-year old is now eighth in the championship race and trails BMW's Marco Wittmann by almost 50-points but says he'll keep fighting till the end.

"This weekend we didn't have enough pace. We had the pace at the Norisring but I gave away theoretically 40-points so those would have been nice right now! But we'll keep fighting until the season is over and we'll see where we stand," Ekstrom concluded.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mattias Ekstrom - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Mike Rockenfeller - Audi Sport Team Phoenix [pic credit Audi Sport]
Edoardo Mortara - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA [pic credit DTM]
Maxime Martin - BMW Team RBM [pic credit DTM]
Maxime Martin - BMW Team RBM [pic credit DTM]
Rene Rast - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Rene Rast - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Paul di Resta - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA  [pic credit Mercedes]
Paul di Resta - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA  [pic credit Mercedes]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg RS 5 [pic credit Audi Sport]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg RS 5 [pic credit Audi Sport]
Robert Wickens - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA [pic credit Mercedes]
Robert Wickens - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA [pic credit Mercedes]
Lucas Auer - HWA Mercedes AMG C63 DTM [pic credit DTM]
Lucas Auer - HWA Mercedes AMG C63 DTM [pic credit DTM]
Lucas Auer - HWA Mercedes AMG C63 DTM [pic credit DTM]
Lucas Auer - HWA Mercedes AMG C63 DTM [pic credit DTM]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]

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