Joel Eriksson found himself battling in the heat of the midfield in the penultimate DTM round of the season at the Nürburgring, picking up some additional points on an otherwise meagre weekend.
Eriksson finished eighth in the first race of the double-header meeting to pick up four championship points – although the Swede had appeared to be in contention for a better result up until his compulsory pit stop.
Eriksson entered the pits just behind BMW team-mate Marco Wittmann, but lost contact with the two-time champion due to a lengthy pit stop. Consequently, Eriksson rejoined behind a train of cars powering down the main straight, while Wittmann went on to finish on the podium.
In Sunday’s Race 2, Eriksson then came home just outside the points-paying positions in 11th place.
Audi’s René Rast (GER) clinched the 2019 DTM title with one round to spare courtesy of one win and one third place in the Eifel mountains.
“It’s been another tough weekend,” says Joel Eriksson. “I felt I was on to something in the first race, but then unfortunately we had an issue on the right rear and lost some time in the pit stop. Likewise today, in second qualifying, it was quite frustrating because I made a mistake at the chicane on my best lap. That cost me about two tenths, which would have meant five or six places on the grid given how close it was. Still, I’m not sure how much that would actually have helped us in the race anyway. A difficult weekend, but we will regroup for the finale and try to end this season the best we possibly can.”
The DTM campaign draws to a close, as traditional has it, at Hockenheim on October 4-6.
RESULTS (top five)
DTM | Round 8/9
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 41 laps
2: Bruno Spengler (CAN), BMW, +10.787s
3: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, +17.299s
4: Jonathan Aberdein (RSA), Audi, +24.537s
5: Loic Duval (FRA), Audi, +27.158s
8: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +27.880s
1: Jamie Green (GBR), Audi, 41 laps
2: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, +0.422s
3: René Rast (GER), Audi, +5.827s
4: Loic Duval (FRA), Audi, +10.813s
5: Jonathan Aberdein (RSA), Audi, +11.121s
11: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +29.974s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
DTM | After 16/18 races
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 279 p.
2: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, 223 p.
3: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 182 p.
4: Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, 145 p.
5: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, 144 p.
11: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, 51 p.