Mattias Ekström has scored his 20th win. His landmark victory concluded a brilliant DTM season opener at the Hockenheimring.

Twice on pole, twice on the top step of the podium ? Audi Sport delivered a perfect start of the new DTM season and is now leading the drivers?, manufacturers? and teams? standings in the popular touring car series. After two of 18 rounds, this is merely a status assessment, but the opener has whetted the appetite of officials and fans. 75,000 visitors flocked to the circuit last weekend and nearly two million TV viewers watched live DTM coverage on ?Das Erste.?
For Ekström, the weekend at Hockenheim was far from over when he crossed the finish line on Sunday. A press conference followed, as well as interviews and numerous ?well done? messages, including one from World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg, who had mounted the top step of the podium in the successful visit of the World Rallycross Championship to Hockenheim himself.
The sweetest reward for Ekström was the one he had to wait for the longest: a bag of goodies from Sweden his mother pampered him with for his 20th DTM win in the family?s own motorhome. The day after the triumph, life was back to normal at the Ekström home. ?I put together an Ikea cabinet. That?s the perfect mental distraction after such a rough weekend,? the Swede quipped.
Audi Sport and the teams took a breather on Monday as well. ?The new format of the DTM weekends with two races is working out well, but it?s really rough on everyone,? says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. ?The fans get to see a lot more on-track action than in the past but we have to be prepared even better than before. On Saturday and Sunday, we hardly have a chance to carefully craft a plan because one thing happens right after the other.?
The Audi Sport Teams have left a strong impression in the season opener but have long started preparing for the next challenge awaiting them at Lausitzring from May 29 to 31. ?That?s going to be another big thriller,? Dieter Gass is convinced. ?Mercedes have traditionally been strong there. BMW aren?t going to lean back in their chairs, but will try to come back. Plus, we?re going to have ?performance weights? in our cars.?
Tickets for the DTM race at the Lausitzring are available at

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