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Mattias Ekström: “I played it careful today”

Image: ITR e.V.

Team Abt Sportsline’s Mattias Ekström was on course for a potential win at the last Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) race of the year at Hockenheim, but admitted that his getaway when the lights was out was “the worse one of my career.”

“I think I’m really happy, if I’m honest, as we had a really good race pace today,” said the Swede during the final post-race press conference of the season.

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“I think making the DTM car go nearly 0-100 in almost five seconds deserves a trophy, as I think that in itself is an achievement.”

The two-time champion was able to make multiple passes during the race, overtaking the likes of Maxime Martin, António Felix da Costa and Gary Paffett to finish second.

“I played it careful today, just a little below full. After a bad start, I could see that Maxime was struggling a bit, but when I tried to overtake him, I lost a bit of time, and then tried to catch Gary.”

The 36-year-old finished just 1.351 seconds behind race winner Jamie Green, and was another driver able to exploit the pure pace of the RS5 DTM at the 4.574-km track.

“I tried to make it as quick as possible, and then I tried to catch Jamie. I don’t know how big the gap was, but I could see that there was enough time,” he said, admitting that it was going to be difficult to close the gap to the Briton.

“He was very fast, so I was driving alone, trying to drive perfect laps. Slowly but gently, I felt I got a bit closer.”

Ekström also lost valuable time in the mandatory pit stop, which gave him more work to do, but the opportunity of winning the last race of 2015 eventually fell out of reach.

“I realised that five laps from the end, my front left tyre gave up, so I had no more fight left. I just tried to nurse it make the last few laps, but I’m generally happy with today’s result.”

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