Team Abt's Mattias Ekstrom has strengthened his lead at the top of the DTM championship after securing his first victory of the 2017 season, as Audi lock-out the top-three podium order in Austria.

The former two-time champion's first victory since the Hungaroring last season has moved Ekstrom into an 18-point lead ahead of his Audi team mate Jamie Green in the DTM title battle.

In fact, it was Green who led the vast majority of the opening 55-minute Austrian race. But, having shadowed the leading Brit for almost 35-laps, Ekstrom grew in strength on his second set of tyres and made the decisive move ahead of his Audi stablemate into the turn two hairpin.

While Ekstrom did initially pull away from Green to the tune of 1.1s, Green closed back in on the Swedish veteran during the final lap.

Ekstrom eventually took the win by 0.398s, while Nico Muller, who allowed the eventual race winner past for second during the opening stages, completed an-all Audi rostrum formation in third.

Capping off what was a dominant day for the Audi RS 5 squad at the Red Bull Ring, Green also moves up to second in the championship as Lucas Auer and Rene Rast fall further back in the title race.

Behind the all-conquering front three Audis, HWA's Robert Wickens was 'best of the rest' for Mercedes after holding off a multi-car onslaught for fourth position. The Canadian picked up damage early in the race but managed to keep reigning champion Marco Wittmann at bay in fifth.

BMW's Maxime Martin survived his skirmish with title protagonist Rene Rast to secure sixth place ahead of Mike Rockenfeller, Lucas Auer, Edoardo Mortara and Timo Glock.

Rast almost ran into the back of Martin's BMW M4 at turn three after attempting to overtake the Belgian driver from a long way back. The German came off worse after spinning out of points paying contention to eventually finish in 13th.



Loading Comments...