Joel Eriksson wrapped up his rookie DTM campaign with another new points-scoring performance at this weekend’s Hockenheim finale.
Getting the meeting off to a promising start by topping the times in an ultra-close Saturday morning free practice session, Eriksson looked set to feature in the scrap over pole in opening qualifying, sitting second on the timesheets following the completion of the first runs.
A set-up change backfired on the second set of tyres, however, meaning Eriksson was unable to improve on his lap time while others did, dropping the Swede to 11th.
In the first of the weekend’s two races, Eriksson was then in contention for a top ten finish until getting pushed off the track following a safety car restart, slipping to 15th place.
On Sunday, however, Eriksson responded in the final race of the season by powering to a points-scoring ninth place finish.
Both races at Hockenheim were won by Audi’s René Rast, while Mercedes stalwart Gary Paffett sealed the overall title.
“I was hoping for more this weekend, especially after going fastest in practice, but we simply didn’t reap the rewards of our pace,” says Joel Eriksson. ”I think the timing of our pit stops perhaps wasn’t ideal, which in turn meant I struggled to keep the tyres alive, but at least we bagged another two points. Overall, I am really happy with this season, and I want to thank BMW so much for giving me this opportunity. I’ve learned a massive amount and it’s been a real pleasure racing in this competitive championship.”
During his rookie season in one of the world’s toughest racing categories, Joel Eriksson once managed to reach victory lane, taking the chequered flag in Misano (Italy) to become the second-youngest winner in DTM history.
The only series newcomer to win a race in 2018, Eriksson has also claimed another eight points-paying finishes from the 20 races staged. He ends up 14th overall.
Further news concerning Joel Eriksson’s career will be communicated in the near future.
RESULTS (top five)
DTM | Round 10
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 34 laps
2: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, +0.354s
3: Timo Glock (GER), BMW, +1.856s
4: Gary Paffett (GBR), Mercedes, +2.641s
5: Loic Duval (FRA), Audi, +5.136s
15: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +13.400s
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 36 laps
2: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, +3.786s
3: Gary Paffett (GBR), Mercedes, +15.838s
4: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, +17.241s
5: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, +18.942s
9: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +28.683s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
DTM | After 20/20 races
1: Gary Paffett (GBR), Mercedes, 255 p.
2: René Rast (GER), Audi, 251 p.
3: Paul di Resta (GBR), Mercedes, 233 p.
4: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 164 p.
5: Timo Glock (GER), BMW, 144 p.
14: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, 72 p.