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Courageous strategy gives Joel Eriksson his first DTM win on Hankook tires
- Joel Eriksson held his nerve in Misano on Sunday to win the second night race in the history of the DTM – a race dominated by tire selection and strategy. On a wet track, the BMW driver started on the Hankook slick, before switching to the premium tire maker’s wet tire on lap nine when it started to rain. This proved to be the right tactic, allowing the DTM rookie from Sweden to claim the first win of his DTM career at the end of the 31-lap race. Guest starter Alessandro Zanardi (BMW) also had cause to celebrate: the Italian finished a sensational fifth.
Misano/Italy, 27th August 2018 - Spectators at the Misano World Circuit for the second DTM night race witnessed an eventful race with many battles for position and a host of different tire strategies. While all the other DTM drivers lined up on a damp grid on wet tires, Joel Eriksson (BMW) started the race from twelfth place on the slick provided by exclusive partner Hankook Tire. When rain started to fall, the Swede came into the pits on lap nine to switch to the premium tire maker’s wet tire, on which he consistently climbed through the field, helped in part by a safety car phase.
When long-time leader Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-Benz), who started on the Hankook wet tire, made his mandatory pit stop on lap 25, Eriksson took over at the head of the field, a position he successfully defended right through to the finish. Runner-up Mortara was followed home by reigning DTM champion René Rast (Audi) in third place. Mercedes-Benz driver Paul Di Resta finished sixth and now tops the overall standings, ahead of fellow Mercedes-Benz men Gary Paffett and Mortara.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Tire Motorsport Director Europe: “The fans saw an eventful and, at times, crazy second night race in Misano, in which DTM rookie Joel Eriksson was rewarded for taking a risk and starting on slicks on the wet track. The safety car phase obviously played into the Swede’s hands, but it had already been shown that different tactics were possible with the Hankook wet tire and the slick, and that the right tactic could be the key to success.”
Audi Sport Team Rosberg completed the fastest pit stop of the weekend in Misano, in a time of 59.002 seconds. Their reward was 25 points toward the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award.
Joel Eriksson (BMW): “Unlike the rest of the field, I started on the Hankook slick and wanted to stay out on that set of tires for a long time. Then, when the rain started to fall, we switched to the wet tire. This proved to be a direct hit. I was obviously a little lucky with the safety car phase, but my win showed that anything is possible in motorsport.”
Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-Benz): “The conditions were incredibly tough today, similar to yesterday. We started on the wet tires and switched to a new set of wets. That was the right tactic, as it started to rain again and the track did not dry out. I had a lot of grip on the Hankook wet tire, and as good as no wear. Unfortunately, we just missed out on the win.”
René Rast (Audi): “I drove for a very long time on one set of Hankook wet tires, and they still worked well when it dried out a little. It then started to rain again, and the second set of wets was also super. I am happy to be on the podium in these conditions.”
Alessandro Zanardi (BMW): “I drove the formation lap on slicks, but my engineer and I decided to start on wet tires. Given the conditions, we had reckoned with an appearance from the safety car from the word go and wanted to switch to slicks. However, it then started to rain again, which made wet tires the logical choice. We were obviously a bit lucky, but you have to earn that.”