Press Release

  • Motorsport

Mattias Ekström extends his lead in the DTM Drivers’ Championship with his first win of the season

Mattias Ekström has taken another big step towards his third DTM title. The Audi driver won Saturday’s race in Spielberg, Austria. This was his first victory of the season, and sees the Swede extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 28 points. Spectators at the Red Bull Ring for the penultimate race weekend of what is probably the most popular international touring car series witnessed a one-two-three for the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer, which also dominated qualifying. The race tyre provided by exclusive DTM partner Hankook once again impressed at the quick alpine circuit with its high level of grip and consistency, which allowed all the teams to implement individual race and pit stop strategies.

Spielberg/Austria, 23rd September 2017 – Following an impressive qualifying on Saturday, three Audis started race 15 of the season from the front of the grid on Saturday – and they wasted little time in pulling away from the rest of the field shortly after the start. While pole-sitter Jamie Green led the race in commanding fashion, Mattias Ekström came in for a new set of Hankook tyres on lap 13. In doing so, he leapfrogged ahead of Nico Müller, who had led him up to that point. The Swede then passed leader Jamie Green on lap 36 and went on to cross the finish line first ahead of fellow Audi drivers Green and Müller after 40 laps of racing.

The best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver at the alpine circuit was Robert Wickens in fourth place. Marco Wittmann was the top BMW driver in fifth, a result that sees him climb into fourth place in the overall standings. The man sitting pretty at the top of the championship is Mattias Ekström (Audi), who extended his lead over Jamie Green to 28 points, courtesy of the 23rd victory of his DTM career. As such, Ekström is well placed to win his third DTM Drivers’ Championship. Lucas Auer (Mercedes-Benz), who finished eighth in Spielberg, drops to third place in the overall standings.

“Once the performance weights were abolished, Audi dominated the Saturday race at the Red Bull Ring. The big winner was Mattias Ekström, who took his first win of the season to take a big step closer to winning his third Drivers’ Championship. However, it could be a completely different story again on Sunday. If there has been one constant this year, it is that nothing is predictable in the DTM. As at all the other rounds of the DTM, the Hankook race tyre produced an impressive performance and supported all the drivers perfectly,” said Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe.

Mattias Ekström (Audi): “It was actually quite a quiet race for me. I tried to drive intelligently and not be too aggressive, as the key was to score as many points as possible in the race for the title. The Hankook race tyre was very good, particularly in the second stint. It allowed me to pass Jamie and take my first win of the season.”

Jamie Green (Audi): “It is a difficult track in Spielberg, on which you have to manage the race tyres well. My second stint was very long and it was a tough job for the front-left dry tyre, given the many right turns at the Red Bull Ring. However, it held up well, was very consistent and I am very happy with the combination of car and Hankook race tyre.”

Marco Wittmann (BMW): “In the end, I had to settle for fifth place. I had a few good battles with Robert, but was unfortunately not able to overtake him. The Hankook race tyres worked well and were even better than in free practice, but we were simply no match for the Audis today.”

Hankook Tire manufactures globally innovative, award winning radial tyres of proven superior quality for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, RVs, trucks, and buses as well as motorsports (circuit racing/rallies).

Aspiring to bring consumers the utmost excellence in product quality, technological excellence and driving satisfaction, Hankook Tire continuously invests in research and development maintaining five R&D centres and eight production facilities around the world. Bespoke tyre solutions for the European markets as well as European Original Equipment according to the requirements of leading premium car manufacturers, are developed in the company’s regional Technical Centre in Hanover/Germany. Production for the European region is taking place in the state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Rácalmás/Hungary which was inaugurated in June 2007 and is continuously being expanded. Currently around 3,000 employees produce up to 19 million tyres a year for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks.

Hankook Tire’s European headquarters are located in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt am Main in Germany. The manufacturer operates further branches in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and Ukraine. Hankook products are sold directly through regional distributors in other local markets. Hankook Tire employs approximately 22,000 people worldwide and are selling their products in over 180 countries. Internationally leading car manufacturers rely on tyres made by Hankook for their original equipment. Approximately 30 percent of the company's global sales are generated within the European and CIS-Region. Hankook Tire has been represented in the renowned Dow Jones Sustainability Index World (DJSI World) since 2016.

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