DTM points leader Ekstrom takes first win of 2017 at Red Bull Ring

Mattias Ekstrom took his first victory of the DTM season to extend his championship advantage in the first race of the penultimate round at the Red Bull Ring

DTM points leader Ekstrom takes first win of 2017 at Red Bull Ring

Ekstrom was lying second behind Audi stablemate Jamie Green, before he passed the Briton easily into the uphill Turn 3 hairpin with five laps remaining.

The leading Audi trio of Ekstrom, Green and Nico Muller finished in formation after a race dominated by the Ingolstadt marque - the first race since the DTM scrapped the controversial performance-ballast rules.

The top non-Audi, Robert Wickens's Mercedes, was over a quarter of a lap adrift, and such was Audi's supremacy that it was able to manipulate the race to boost Ekstrom's title bid.

First Muller offered no resistance went Ekstrom swept past him for second on lap two; Muller jumped the points leader in the pitstops, but again he made it easy for the Swede to pass him once more.

Green's Team Rosberg RS5 had held a buffer of 4.8 seconds over Ekstrom's Abt machine before Ekstrom pitted.

Green stopped three laps later, and was 4.6s to the good at the end of his first lap on his new tyres.

Ekstrom slashed the gap to 1.2s within four laps, but it hovered around the 1.5s mark for most of the rest of the race before Green lost relative pace, and allowed Ekstrom to slip past.

Wickens's fourth place owed everything to a stunning first lap, in which he charged from seventh to fourth.

He spent the first stint fending off Marco Wittmann's BMW and Rene Rast's Audi, and then, after Wickens and Wittmann pitted together, the Canadian was still in front.

Rast stopped slightly later and leapfrogged them in the stops, but on cold tyres he could not resist the pressure.

Wickens picked up damage to the trim of his left-side car in the subsequent jostling, and then Rast effectively lost his outside title shot when he collided with Maxime Martin at the downhill Turn 4 while trying to repass the BMW.

Such was Wickens's pace that he had three-quarters of the field bottled up behind him for much of the second stint, before taking fourth ahead of Wittmann, Martin, Mike Rockenfeller, Lucas Auer, Edoardo Mortara and Timo Glock.

Mercedes driver Auer came into the weekend as Ekstrom's closest title challenger but, on home ground, he has now dropped to 31 points adrift, while Green's pole and second place have vaulted him from fifth to second in the standings.

Race one result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 40 57m00.812s
2 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 40 0.398s
3 Nico Muller Abt Audi 40 0.602s
4 Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 40 21.625s
5 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 40 22.118s
6 Maxime Martin RBM BMW 40 22.748s
7 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 40 23.067s
8 Lucas Auer HWA Mercedes 40 23.452s
9 Edoardo Mortara HWA Mercedes 40 23.761s
10 Timo Glock RMR BMW 40 25.559s
11 Paul Di Resta HWA Mercedes 40 25.938s
12 Bruno Spengler RBM BMW 40 26.447s
13 Rene Rast Rosberg Audi 40 26.788s
14 Loic Duval Phoenix Audi 40 27.096s
15 Maro Engel HWA Mercedes 40 27.514s
16 Tom Blomqvist RMR BMW 40 32.951s
17 Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 40 1m15.721s
- Augusto Farfus RMG BMW 28 Retirement


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