Joel Eriksson sealed his second podium of the 2019 DTM campaign as he led the BMW attack in the first race of the weekend at Nuremberg’s Norisring street track.
21-year-old Eriksson, whose street circuit record includes wins and podiums at the famous Pau and Macau tracks, showcased impressive pace between the Nuremberg walls on this occasion and solely took the fight to the leading Audis in Saturday’s opening encounter.
Heading into the closing stages of Race 1, Eriksson – having started the race from fourth – was under significant attack from Audi’s Nico Müller in a battle over second place. The Swede, though, positioned his BMW M4 DTM with precision to fend off Müller’s advances as the pair commenced the very final lap.
On quickly degrading tyres, however, Eriksson was ultimately unable to hold on, Müller agonisingly squeezing past with a late dive down the inside into the final corner.
Eriksson duly finished third, behind Müller and his victorious Audi team-mate René Rast, to clinch his second podium of the season.
“It’s nice to be on the podium again, especially in front of all these fantastic fans here at the Norisring,” says Joel Eriksson. “It really is a true highlight in DTM. I had a great battle with Nico Müller; it was fair racing and great fun. I did not expect him to stick it up the inside at the final corner. However, I think he would have passed me in the last corner anyway, even if I had closed the door on him completely, as he still had DRS available. His tyres were also in better condition than mine at the end of the race. It is a shame to lose P2, but a podium is always nice and we will continue to push. We scored some important points this weekend.”
In Sunday’s Race 2, Eriksson was classified a lapped 13th after applying a strategy that failed to pay off – but BMW triumphed in style at their home venue in Bavaria thanks to a victory by Bruno Spengler.
The next DTM round takes place at Assen, the Netherlands, on July 19-21.
RESULTS (top five)
DTM | Round 4/9
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 69 laps
2: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, +34.498s
3: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +34.692s
4: Loic Duval (FRA), Audi, +39.521s
5: Bruno Spengler (CAN), BMW, +42.111s
1: Bruno Spengler (CAN), BMW, 70 laps
2: Jamie Green (GBR), Audi, +5.765s
3: Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, +6.833s
4: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, +11.695s
5: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, +16.365s
13: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +1 lap
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
DTM | After 8/18 races
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 127 p.
2: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, 102 p.
3: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, 101 p.
4: Bruno Spengler (CAN), BMW, 76 p.
5: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 72 p.
10: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, 43 p.