Lucas Auer and Jamie Green win DTM opening rounds
Mattias Ekstöm on double duty wins WRX round
Photo and report Willem J. Staat
Austrian Lucas Auer and Briton Jamie Green won the DTM opening rounds at Hockenheim. Auer won the first race on Saturday with his AMG Motorsport Mercedes C63. According tot he new DTM rules radiocontact beteken drivers and teams have been limited to re-starts and safety procedures. Auer professionally managed to defend his position against the charging BMW M4 from German Timo Glock, who finished second. New Hankook slicks and improved aerodynamics have considerably improved overtaking opportunities. Both Audi-drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekström managed to improve more than 10 positions in the race with a lot of overtaking moves. Edoartdo Mortara finished 4th for his enw employer Mercedes Benz and René Rast took 5th position.
The second race took place under changeable weatherconditions with Timo Glock starting from pole but lost it after a restart in and in fact never recovered. Audi-driver Jamie Green got a 5 secs. penalty for going too quickly on the throttle but managed to survive that in the 19th lap. Jamie Green: “ With a little bit of rain it was very difficult to drive on slick tyres. One time I came off the track but was quick enough, so, it was not really a problem for me. With the new rules the driver has to decide himself to come in under those conditions. “But for me that was not problem” Green told. Reigning champion Marco Wittmann drove an inspiring race from the back of the grid to finish 3rd, but Mercedes driver Gary Paffett managed to improve that by dropping from 4th tot 14th during the race and came back in 2nd place. One of the best DTM drives. Saturday winner Lucas Auer came in too late for a tyre change and finished 4th, which meant he dropped off the podium in the late stages of the race. Supurb action in the WRX Rallyecross championship saw Mattias Ekström winning this round ahead of his fellow countrymen Johan Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen. During the weekend Ekström jumped from one car tot he other, which was a testament of his sheer driving talent Paul Bellamy from the IMG organisation said.