Mattias Ekstrom has taken his first win of the 2016 DTM season after capitalising upon the dramatic start-line clash between title contenders Marco Wittmann and Edoardo Mortara at the Hungaroring.

Mortara's title challenge now appears to be on the ropes despite dominating the vast majority of the Budapest weekend. Wittmann now leads the standings by a clear 26 points.

The race for the title reached boiling point as soon as the fifth red light went out following a disastrously slow getaway for pole man Mortara.

Having suffered from too much wheel spin, Mortara immediately bogged down, giving the impetus to Wittmann, who started directly behind the Audi RS 5.

With the top two title contenders now wheel-to-wheel, Mortara hurriedly moved across of Wittmann in an attempt to keep the championship leader behind him. Contact was inevitable and chaos ensued.

The altercation tipped Wittmann into a spectacular half spin, sending his BMW M4 into the side of Jamie Green.

Mortara initially recovered to regain the lead but it soon became clear his Audi was wounded and was forced to pit at the end of the lap from the resulting puncture.

Green followed Mortara into pits but quickly retired his Rosberg run RS 5 from the action.

Wittmann didn't come off scott-free but managed to regain his composure in fourth despite suffering damage to the front right of his splitter.

All the while, Mattias Ekstrom inherited the lead ahead of Adrien Tambay while the Mercedes of Daniel Junacedella remarkably rose from twelfth to third in the space of a few corners.

An element of calmness was restored following the fractious opening corner as the leading group settled into formation with the pit window looming.

With the first lap incident creating sizeable gaps between the top runners, little changed in the order during the pit-stops despite an array of different strategies.

Team Abt's Ekstrom pitted on the 24th lap of the race and held his net lead ahead of Tambay with Timo Scheider yet to make his stop ahead.

On his last appearance of the 2016 DTM season, Ekstrom eventually crossed the line over four seconds clear of Frenchman Tambay while Juncedella followed the Audi duo home for his first DTM podium after 53 attempts.

Wittmann retained his all important fourth ahead of his fellow BMW runners; Antonio Felix da Costa, Tom Blomqvist and Timo Glock.

Former double champion Scheider got the better of Maxime Martin late in the game for eighth but the Belgian managed to hang onto ninth ahead of Mike Rockenfeller.

Languishing in 21st for the remainder of the afternoon, Mortara eventually pulled into the pits before taking the flag.

 

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