Since one and a half week, Joel Eriksson can proudly affix “DTM race winner” to his racing résumé. Scoring an emotional maiden victory in the highly-competitive touring car championship last time out under the Misano floodlights, the 20-year-old BMW Swede arrives at the Nürburgring this weekend at the centre of attention, determined to build on his winning momentum.
“It’s been some crazy days since Misano and I still struggle to understand that it actually happened,” says Joel Eriksson. “It was a dream come true for me and I’m so grateful for all the messages and congratulations I’ve received. I’m not really sure what it will be like to return to the paddock this weekend as a DTM race winner, but I’m quite keen to find out!”
The Misano triumph may be Eriksson’s prime career achievement to date, but resting on one’s laurels is never an option in a sport where standing still inexorably means moving backwards. Well aware of that very fact, the second-youngest winner in DTM history is fully focussed on what lies ahead.
“Winning that race at Misano was absolutely fantastic and something I will remember for the rest of my life, but right now I have to leave that behind and focus on the Nürburgring this weekend,” 2018 DTM rookie Eriksson continues. “I know very well that I still have plenty to learn in this series and I don’t expect everything to change just because I won a race. It’s hard work, always, and the Nürburgring is actually a track I’ve not always gone great at. I’ve had the pace but not the results – hopefully that can change this weekend.”
This weekend’s races are staged on the Nürburgring’s 3.6 km Sprint layout. The meeting in Germany’s Eifel mountains constitutes round eight of ten on the 2018 DTM calendar.
Joel Eriksson is one of eight DTM race winners so far this season, alongside Gary Paffett, Timo Glock, Edoardo Mortara, Paul di Resta, Marco Wittmann, René Rast and Daniel Juncadella.
All times local (GMT+02:00)
DTM | Round 8
Friday 7 September
Free Practice 1: 16.45-17.15
Saturday 8 September
Free Practice 2: 08.30-09.00
Qualifying 1: 11.15-11.35
Race 1: 13.30-14.30
Sunday 9 September
Free Practice 3: 08.30-09.00
Qualifying 2: 11.15-11.35
Race 2: 13.30-14.30
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
DTM | After 14/20 races
1: Paul Di Resta (GBR), Mercedes, 186 p.
2: Gary Paffett (GBR), Mercedes, 177 p.
3: Edoardo Mortara (ITA), Mercedes, 138 p.
4: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 112 p.
5: Lucas Auer (AUT), Mercedes, 110 p.
12: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, 52 p.
FOLLOW JOEL (IF YOU CAN…)