Martin Tomczyk became a happy leader of the DTM standings following the fourth round of the championship at Brands Hatch with an impressive tactical drive to second place.
Like winner Bernd Schneider, Tomczyk had to rely on strategy to play himself into the race after qualifying down in eighth courtesy of a crash in the latter stages but did so marvellously by staying out later than any of his rivals.
Indeed, Tomczyk had spent much of the race a comfortable distance behind Abt Sportsline team-mate Mattias Ekstrom and Bruno Spengler but took the initiative when they pitted to gradually eke out a margin almost good enough to have a pit stop in hand.
As it happens, Tomczyk claims he lost the two tenths he needed to come out ahead of Schneider and although he pressured his countryman over the final few laps, a second career victory in the DTM would not be forthcoming.
Nonetheless, Tomczyk wasn't too disheartened to not add to his sole victory at Barcelona last season, not least because his second podium of the season now moves him into the lead of the championship.
“The team gave me a really fast car all weekend and in the race I had a great strategy, so I came out right behind Bernd and I knew I would have much newer tyres so I would be faster than him,” he told Crash,net Radio
“I started to attack him in the first four laps and perhaps it could have worked but at Brands it is to pass and in the end second is enough because it means I have the lead of the championship.
“My times were very constant after the first pit stop but I felt the rear tyres dropping, but my team wanted me to stay out for five or six more laps because it meant I would come back out in front of both of them, but unfortunately we lost two tenths in the pit stop and that was the time I needed.”
With four races down and six to come, Tomczyk admits his strong start to the season is causing him to cast a wry eye on the title and he is quite happy to achieve this without visiting the top of the podium.
“I would like a victory but if I can win the championship without winning the race, then that is fine.”