A very happy and emotional Joel Eriksson was ‘lost for words,’ having taken his first DTM career win at Misano World Circuit yesterday night by 1.817 seconds from Mercedes’ Edoardo Mortara, having played a great strategy call to pit on lap nine.
“Absolutely, absolutely incredible,” said the 20-year-old, who started the race on slick tyres, before opting to change to the wet tyres supplied by DTM tyre partner Hankook.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve been dreaming about winning a DTM race, and now I’ve done it.”
The Tomelilla resident was jubilant as he crossed the finish line after 32 laps of the 4.226-km circuit, and had nothing but words of praise for Bert Mampaey’s Team RBM outfit.
“I’m just so proud of us all to have pulled this off in these most difficult of conditions. I’m lost for words and I can’t describe how happy I am right now.
“Thank you to everyone at BMW for believing in me – I hope this is just the first of many more wins together.”
“I am unbelievably proud of Joel. Congratulations on the first DTM win!” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt post-race.
“At just 20 years of age, he is the second-youngest DTM winner of all time. We’re going to celebrate that now.”
Even with only the Swede and guest driver Alex Zanardi making it into the top ten, Marquardt is hopeful that the performance the pair showed helps the other drivers at the Nürburgring in two weeks’ time.
“We were not rewarded for our brave strategy yesterday but today we had that little bit of luck on our side. It wasn’t supposed to rain at all during the race but the forecast was well off the mark.
“That made it a pretty chaotic race – and it ended well for us. It’s a shame that more of our drivers were unable to follow Joel and Alex into the top ten.”
Eriksson now moves up to 12th in the drivers’ standings on 52 points, becoming the eighth different winner this season.