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Hockenheim DTM: Green wins, Ekstrom fails to score

Audi driver Jamie Green kept his DTM title hopes alive by dominating the first race of the Hockenheim season finale.

Green had lined up third on the grid but overtook BMW's front-row duo Timo Glock and Maxime Martin en route to victory.

With championship leader Mattias Ekstrom failing to score points, Green's third win of 2017 has put him right in the thick of the title battle, as he will enter the final day of the season just nine points behind the Swede.

Glock, starting from pole for the fourth time in his DTM career, had maintained the lead comfortably into Turn 1 and began to swiftly pull away from the pack, with Green having picked off a slow-starting Martin off the line.

The Brit then remained within striking distance of the race leader, mounting his first serious attack on the sixth lap with a dive down the inside of the hairpin.

Glock got better traction out of the corner and the pair ran virtually side by side until Turn 10, where the BMW ran off-track on exit but rejoined ahead of Green.

The Brit, who was subsequently assessed a warning for forcing Glock off the track, then breezed past the ex-F1 driver on the straight the lap after – and immediately went about establishing a lead.

Glock held second until pitting on lap 11, with Green following suit four laps later and rejoining comfortably ahead.
What was initially a three-second lead ballooned to over five as the race wound down, and while Green did lose some time passing the off-sequence BMW of Tom Blomqvist – who left his stop as late as lap 28 – his win was never under threat.

Glock, however, could not hang on to second, falling prey to a late-stopping Mike Rockenfeller on the final lap after the Audi man had charged through the field from seventh place.

Martin was fourth, with Edoardo Mortara ending up as the highest-placed Mercedes in fifth after picking off Rene Rast at the start.

Failing to re-pass Mortara, Rast found himself under serious pressure from Robert Wickens late on, but the Mercedes man locked up at the Turn 8 left-hander while looking to complete the move and had to settle for seventh.

Lucas Auer finished eighth ahead of fellow Mercedes driver Gary Paffett and was eliminated from title contention, as was BMW's Marco Wittmann, who ended up out of the points.

Ekstrom, meanwhile, looked set for a top-10 finish for much of the race, aided by fellow Audi driver Nico Muller waving him through – only for the Swede to fall prey to Bruno Spengler late on and end up 11th.

Four Audi drivers retain a mathematical chance at the 2017 DTM crown heading into Sunday, with Ekstrom nine points ahead of Green, 13 ahead of Rast and 20 ahead of Rockenfeller.



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