Race: Ekstrom clinches title

Mattias Ekstrom dominated the action in the ninth round of the DTM series at Brno to win the 2004 championship while title rival Christijan Albers threw away his chances with a disastrous move on Martin Tomczyk

Race: Ekstrom clinches title

Ekstrom (Audi) led the field from pole but Albers (Mercedes) locked up at the first corner and Audi's Martin Tomczyk and Kristensen took advantage. Albers regained third place from Kristensen, while the other man who could challenge Ekstrom for the title, Merc man Gary Paffett, dropped back to eighth on the opening lap.

Paffett passed Peter Dumbreck (Opel) and Emanuele Pirro (Audi), while Albers closed on Ekstrom at the front during the first round of pitstops. Albers then pushed Christian Abt's Audi into a spin when he left the pit exit, but escaped any penalty.

The time lost during that incident proved crucial, as Tomczyk just beat Albers to second when he rejoined from the pits a lap later. Albers went on the offensive but shoved Tomczyk into a spin, damaging his front wing and earning him a drive-through penalty. The damage caused him to retire a couple of laps later.

Tomczyk was also out, so the front runners were now Ekstrom and Kristensen, followed by the battling Marcel Fassler (Opel) and Paffett. They pitted together and the Mercedes man really pushed the edge of pit lane etiquette when he shoved his way past Fassler at the exit. A podium place was his, but it was not enough to save his title hopes.

Albers and Gary Paffett will now fight it out for the runners-up slot at the season finale in Hockenheim.

Mattias Ekstrom, Audi A4, 59m26.498s
Tom Kristensen, Audi A4, +2.313s
Gary Paffett, AMG-Mercedes, +5.407s
Marcel Fassler, Opel Vectra GTS, +9.804s
Emauele Pirro, Audi A4, +33.220s
Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Opel Vectra GTS, +38.270s

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