Outing DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom has conceded that he did fight hard with his colleagues from Mercedes at the Hockenheimring on Sunday.

The Swede, who had started from pole position, gave way to his Audi team-mate Timo Scheider straight after the start and on the first lap dropped to fourth place due to a tussle with Paul di Resta and Jamie Green. Both have since criticised him for being overly aggressive [see separate stories].

However, while he only finished seventh, he said that was not what was important, as the main thing was to ensure Scheider took the drivers' title.

"Our goal for the weekend was for Audi to win the title. We managed this and in the end it was a fair result and a well-deserved title for Audi. We had the best car this year," said Ekstrom, who ends 2008 third in the DTM drivers' championship.

"The first race was really good already and that's how things continued throughout the season. My race today was very exciting - primarily the first half lap. My start wasn't perfect and Timo [Scheider] was coming from behind. I fought hard with the colleagues from Mercedes.

"My own result wasn't so important today - it was all about Audi and the title," he added.

Martin Tomczyk meanwhile finished one spot lower in the other Red Bull-backed Audi: "After making up ground at the start, I had an exciting first lap with Bruno [Spengler] and Tom [Kristensen]. Unfortunately, it didn't end favourably for me," said Tomczyk.

"The rest of the race then was quite okay. So I just finished my race. I enjoyed the fact that Timo has become the champion."



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