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Ekstrom leads Audi 1-2 at Valencia

Mattias Ekstrom wins at ValenciaMattias Ekstrom held off a late-race charge from Martin Tomczyk to lead home an Audi one-two at Valencia on Sunday.

Ekstrom had streaked into a comfortable lead in the first stint ahead of Bruno Spengler's Mercedes, but he came under pressure from Tomczyk in the closing stages after the German made his mandatory pitstops much later than most of the field to jump up from ninth on the grid to fight for the win.

Behind them, Spengler was promoted back into third place when Oliver Jarvis retired in the closing stages, after the Briton had also jumped the lead Mercedes in the pitstops.

Tomczyk and Jarvis were not the only Audis to make up ground during the stops, as Spengler had to defend from the 2008 Audi of Alexandre Premat at the end of the race.

Behind them, Timo Scheider completed the top five from 10th on the grid, while Paul di Resta was next up for Mercedes in sixth.

Mike Rockenfeller, who like Scheider had been ahead of Premat before the second stops, eventually came home seventh, with season-opener victor Gary Paffett eighth after a difficult afternoon.

The 2005 champion lost ground when he ran wide at the first corner, and he dropped back even further after spending most of the first lap swapping paint with Premat as they fought over sixth.

The Briton dropped as low as 10th when Miguel Molina barged his way through late in the race, but the pair's scrap became a battle for the final point when Jarvis retired with seven laps to go.

Molina's car appeared to be suffering at the end of the race, and Paffett was able to salvage a point from his race with a robust move of his own on the final lap.

Pos  Driver             Car           Time/Gap
 1.  Mattias Ekstrom    Audi      1h09m56.290s
 2.  Martin Tomczyk     Audi          + 0.435s
 3.  Bruno Spengler     Mercedes      + 3.547s
 4.  Alexandre Premat   Audi          + 4.614s
 5.  Timo Scheider      Audi          + 5.274s
 6.  Paul di Resta      Mercedes      + 8.639s
 7.  Mike Rockenfeller  Audi         + 12.812s
 8.  Gary Paffett       Mercedes     + 16.445s
 9.  Miguel Molina      Audi         + 17.116s
10.  Jamie Green        Mercedes     + 18.382s
11.  Susie Stoddart     Mercedes     + 31.041s
12.  Maro Engel         Mercedes     + 48.037s
13.  Franky Cheng       Mercedes     + 48.531s

Retirements:

     David Coulthard    Mercedes  38 laps
     Oliver Jarvis      Audi      37 laps
     Markus Winkelhock  Audi      34 laps
     Ralf Schumacher    Mercedes  24 laps
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