Joel Eriksson performed an ambitious around-the-outside move to snatch sixth place on the very final lap of Sunday’s DTM race in Misano, sealing a fresh set of valuable championship points for himself and BMW.
Racing at the same track which handed him a breakthrough maiden DTM win last year, Eriksson found himself battling Audi’s Jonathan Aberdein in the closing stages of the 38-lap Sunday race.
Starting the final lap nose to tail, Eriksson was setting up for a potential attack down Misano’s back stretch – but with Aberdein covering off the charge, Eriksson bided his time. Instead he struck at the following corner, sweeping around the outside of his rival in a ballsy move that ultimately paid off.
It sealed sixth place for the Swedish youngster, who finished as the second-highest placed BMW driver behind RBM team-mate Philipp Eng (who came home second).
The Misano outcome elevates Eriksson from 11th to ninth in the DTM standings, despite the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship runner-up retiring from the first race of the weekend with mechanical issues.
“It was quite a good race today,” says Joel Eriksson. “I struggled a little at the start and still had a few problems with the tyres after the pit stop, but I managed to cope with that. I then pulled off a good manoeuvre on the final lap to pass Jonathan Aberdein, which was a calculated risk that paid off. It’s a shame to retire from Race 1 of course, but generally speaking we’ve been quick this weekend and those are good points for BMW. I am looking forward to the next races.”
The DTM campaign now enters a brief summer break, before racing resumes on the streets of Nuremberg for the popular Norisring city event on July 5-7.
RESULTS (top five)
DTM | Round 3/9
1: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 39 laps
2: René Rast (GER), Audi, +8.238s
3: Loic Duval (FRA), Audi, +17.686s
4: Bruno Spengler (CAN), BMW, +22.853s
5: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, +28.503s
DNF: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +37 laps
1: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, 38 laps
2: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, +7.628s
3: René Rast (GER), Audi, +16.804s
4: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, +20.072s
5: Pietro Fittipaldi (BRA), Audi, +20.430s
6: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, +23.645s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
DTM | After 6/18 races
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 93 p.
2: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, 83 p.
3: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, 76 p.
4: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 68 p.
5: Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, 51 p.
9: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, 28 p.