Joel Eriksson returned to the points-paying positions in the DTM on a historic weekend for the championship at Lausitzring, as the popular touring car series celebrated its 500th race.
Having endured a tough season so far plagued by various issues, Eriksson completed both of the weekend’s two races on this occasion and duly extended his 2019 points score courtesy of eighth place in Saturday’s Race 1.
The Swedish BMW driver kept himself on the fringes of the top ten for much of Sunday’s concluding race as well, but dropped out of the midfield pack with a calculated gamble of a second pit stop in the closing stages – hoping for a possible safety car intervention to potentially boost his chances.
With the race running to green-flag conditions through to the end, however, Eriksson was ultimately left down in 13th place in what marked the landmark 500th race in DTM history.
Eriksson posted the fourth fastest lap in Race 2.
Audi’s Nico Müller (SUI) and René Rast (GER) shared the victories at Lausitzring.
“It’s a bit of mixed emotions right now,” says Joel Eriksson. “On the one hand, it’s nice to at least be back in the points and to finish both races given the problems we’ve had lately. On the other hand, we were simply not fast enough this weekend. We have a lot of work to do and we have to raise our game, which is actually a situation I find inspiring. We all want to do better and we will work harder than ever to achieve it. To that end, it was important to complete both races here as it gives us a lot of valuable data. I’m looking forward to the final part of the season.”
The penultimate round of the 2019 DTM season takes the championship to the Nürburgring on September 13-15.
RESULTS (top five)
DTM | Round 7/9
1: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, 34 laps
2: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, +2.496s
3: Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, +3.206s
4: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, +5.807s
5: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, +13.477s
8: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +17.532s
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 34 laps
2: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, +5.187s
3: Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, +8.953s
4: Jamie Green (GBR), Audi, +9.618s
5: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, +11.341s
13: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +43.396s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
DTM | After 14/18 races
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 234 p.
2: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, 214 p.
3: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 167 p.
4: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, 140 p.
5: Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, 138 p.
10: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, 47 p.