Martin Tomczyk has closed the gap on championship leader Mattias Ekstrom in the DTM standings after scoring his second victory in a row with a lights-to-flag display at the Nurburgring.

A far more clear cut win than at Zandvoort last time out, Tomczyk was not troubled at any point in the race, merely pulling away at the start and maintaining a conservative pit strategy that would see him cross the line six seconds up on second placed Bruno Spengler.

An evenly matched contest between Audi and Mercedes, the former manufacturer led the way early on when Tomczyk got out in front ahead of Timo Scheider and Tom Kristensen, with Bruno Spengler and Bernd Schneider in fourth and fifth ensuring it was a case of 'as you were' from the startline.

Spengler however was all over Kristensen and battled his way past on lap seven, just as the first round of pit stops were starting.

Unsurprisingly, the race was pitched into a myriad of different strategies, many drivers choosing to conduct both of their pit stops in quick succession, before a handful of drivers had even come in for the first of their two stops.

Those to adopt that strategy were Schneider, Scheider, Paul di Resta, Alex Premat and Gary Paffett who were all racing to the finish within 13 of the 43 laps. Tomczyk on the other hand chose to complete his two pit stops at a more normal time, pitting first on lap 21 and again on lap 31.

However, despite the different tactics being pursued up and down the field, the final result actually managed to reflect the form of the drivers, with most of them emerging in the latter stages where they had started. Not that it meant the race was no less eventful, particularly in the final laps as drivers attempted to make up for lost ground on the track rather than the pit lane.

Tomczyk though was in a clear lead, with Spengler - having passed Scheider at his second pit stop - a considerable distance back, but himself well up on that battle for the final podium position.

That placing had been occupied by Scheider, as it had been for much of the race, but the German bowed to pressure from within to sacrifice the position to championship leader Ekstrom, who had battled his way impressively into contention from tenth on the grid.

Indeed, Ekstrom had benefited from the battle between Scheider and Jamie Green, which allowed the Swede to catch the Mercedes and make a move stick, duly promoting himself up to third place when Scheider had his pang of conscience. Green was left to finish fifth, his best result of the season.

di Resta was the only driver inside the top eight to not be driving a 2007-specification machine, the Scot producing another impressive race in his aged Mercedes to add three points to his tally and maintain fifth in the standings.

Schneider settled for seventh place, with Tom Kristensen eighth, the duo embarking on a titanic tussle for the final point but nonetheless one that proved cleaner than their fight at Zandvoort.

Despite Tomczyk's win, Ekstrom's charge means he remains the championship leader, four points ahead of his elated German team-mate. Importantly for the team though, the duo are beginning to pull away from the competition and now only five drivers can fight for the DTM title.

So far, Spengler continues to lead Mercedes' charge, but he is ten points behind Ekstrom with only two rounds remaining and with only 20 points up for grabs now at Barcelona and Hockenheim, the Canadian faces an uphill struggle to keep the title in the three-pointed stars' hands. It is an even tougher task for Schneider and di Resta in fourth and fifth too, respectively 16.5 and 19 points off Ekstrom.


Loading Comments...