New Audi RS 5 DTM already a winner – Ekström victorious in WRX again
Monday, May 15, 2017

• Podium result for Mike Rockenfeller at DTM season opener
• Jamie Green wins Sunday’s DTM race
• Mattias Ekström remains unbeaten in the 2017 World Rallycross Championship

Hockenheim, May 9, 2017 – After just two races, the new Audi RS 5 DTM is already a winning car: in the turbulent round two of the 2017 DTM at the Hockenheimring, Jamie Green was in a class of his own on Sunday and won the race. On Saturday Mike Rockenfeller thrilled Audi fans with a comeback drive and clinched a podium result for the new Audi RS 5 DTM in its debut race.

Following an early safety car period, the Briton from Audi Sport Team Rosberg took the lead on lap three of Sunday’s race and went on to extend it to more than ten seconds. When rain set in halfway through the race and kept getting heavier, Green switched from slicks to rain tires at the right moment. His advantage was so great that he was even able to cope with a 5-second pit stop penalty. Subsequently, on a wet track, Green managed his clear lead well, crossing the finish line as the winner with a near-five-second advantage over his compatriot Gary Paffett in a Mercedes-Benz.

“The conditions today were really anything but easy,” Green said after his 14th triumph in the DTM. “Achieving a victory on the first weekend of a new racing season is always good. My thanks go to Team Rosberg and to everyone at Audi Sport: this success is an initial reward for the hard work in winter.”

Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass was impressed by the Briton’s performance as well: “Today, it was difficult to judge when to change to rain tires. The driver is now completely on his own in the DTM. Jamie (Green) handled this superbly and truly deserves this victory. It was a fantastic result for us.”
Like the day before, drivers of all three Audi Sport teams scored points on Sunday. Nico Müller from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline was the second-best Audi campaigner even though the Swiss was pushed into his brand colleague Loïc Duval by Mercedes-Benz driver Robert Wickens at the start and suffered a puncture in the incident. From the last position, Müller recovered to fifth place in his damaged car. Mike Rockenfeller from Audi Sport Team Phoenix secured position seven even though the German, following an early first pit stop, had to pit a second time for a tire change due to the rain .

The Audi Sport squad led by Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass already experienced an emotional roller coaster on race day one of the 2017 DTM. Following a difficult qualifying session, Nico Müller started from grid position eight as the best Audi driver. The two former DTM Champions Mike Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekström had to settle for grid positions 16 and 17 and René Rast even had to start from the pit lane after the passenger’s door of his car had been flung open on the formation lap.
However, throughout the race, all three Audi campaigners were able to show the potential of the new Audi RS 5 DTM – particularly over the race distance and with different strategies. Mike Rockenfeller changed tires very early, René Rast shortly before the race’s midpoint, and Mattias Ekström only ten laps before the end of the race. At the finish, the three Audi RS 5 DTM cars of the three Audi Sport teams, Phoenix, Abt Sportsline and Rosberg, were in positions three, five and six, separated by only 2.5 seconds.

After Saturday’s Top-10 position, Sunday’s DTM race was disappointing for Mattias Ekström. The Swede advanced from position ten on the grid to third place. However, after switching to rain tires, the Swede dropped to eleventh place and, as a result, scored no points.

However, Ekstromremains unbeaten in the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship as he prevailed in difficult weather conditions, finishing ahead of this compatriots Johan Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen in a gripping final in round three of the season at the Hockenheimring. In the drivers’ classification, Ekström, the reigning world champion, has extended his lead. In the teams’ classification, world champions EKS continue to trail Team PSRX Volkswagen Sweden in second place.

“Winning here at Hockenheim, in front of the many DTM and rallycross fans, is an incredible feeling,” said Ekström with a big grin on his face. For a long time it did not seem like the Swede would be able to celebrate another success. Although Ekström and his teammates, Reinis Nitišs and Toomas Heikkinen, had again qualified for the semi-final of the twelve best drivers, positions four, eleven and twelve were not a good starting base.

“On Friday and Saturday, we had a few problems keeping pace with the competition,” said Ekström. “Unfortunately, due to my double commitment in the World RX and the DTM, I wasn’t able to spend a lot of time with the team and to help getting a handle on these issues. But the guys burned the midnight oil from Thursday on and did another fantastic job.” In drizzling rain on an extremely slippery track, Heikkinen completed the good team result clinched by EKS.