After two races this year and two retirements the title hopes of 2004 DTM Champion Mattias Ekstrom could be a long shot even at this early stage.

The Audi Team Abt Sportsline driver suffered an early bath in the opening round at Hockenheim and despite a strong showing last time out at EuroSpeedway Lausitz, where the Swede could have finished second, a problem with refuelling ended any hope of catching title rivals Bernd Schneider and Tom Kristensen.

"The race went rather well," said Ekstrom, "I wasn't able to fully match the pace of Mika Hakkinen and Bernd Schneider, but we had opted for another strategy."

The situation was made all the more frustrating for Ekstrom as his Audi A4 DTM exited the race with just two laps remaining.

"I could have finished as the runner-up," added Ekstrom "but unfortunately, retired due to lack of fuel. Scoring no points in two races makes it very difficult for me in the Championship."

Following his retirement, Ekstrom's despair was there for all to see as he left his stranded Audi and lay on the grass next to his stricken machine with his hands covering his face as if already thinking ahead to a change of fortune at Oschersleben.