Starting from ninth on the grid, Ekstrom worked his way up to fourth when the safety car came out on lap 16 following a collision between Martin Tomczyk and Daniel Juncadella which saw Tomczyk and his BMW taking an early bath.
Ekstrom went on to pass the BMW and Mercedes of Bruno Spengler and polesitter Robert Wickens to take second behind Audi driver Mortara. Running on the faster option tyres, the pair began to pull away from the pack, with Ekstrom taking the lead on lap 64. Ten laps from the end Mortara stopped for tyres, but lost his place to the Mercedes of Gary Paffett as he exited the pits. Trying to regain his spot, Mortara hit Paffett up the rear a lap later, leaving Mercedes duo Robert Wickens and Christian Vietoris to inherit their positions as they slipped back, eventually clashing again on the last lap, both retiring.
Daniel Juncadella benefited greatly from the incident, finishing fourth, with Mike Rockenfeller bringing his Audi home in fifth ahead of 2012 champion Bruno Spengler. Rockenfeller now stands just 2 points above Spengler in the standings.
“This is a very special moment for me. The home victory at the Norisring for Audi was something I still had on my list in the DTM. I’d like to thank everyone at Audi Sport, Team Abt, my engineer Florian (Modlinger), my guys and the mechanics. My RS 5 was perfect,” said a jubilant Ekstrom.
DTM Norisring Results
1. M Ekstrom Abt Audi 1h12m14.698s
2. R Wickens HWA Mercedes +2.646s
3. C Vietoris HWA Mercedes +6.282s
4. D Juncadella Mucke Mercedes +7.039s
5. M Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi +8.411s
6. B Spengler Schnitzer BMW +17.083s
7. R Merhi HWA Mercedes +18.594s
8. J Hand RBM BMW +31.198s
9. A Priaulx RMG BMW +34.909s
10. M Wittmann MTEK BMW +35.595s
11. D Werner Schnitzer BMW +40.426s
12. F Albuquerque Rosberg Audi +42.675s
13. T Glock MTEK BMW +42.867s
14. M Molina Phoenix Audi +44.568s
15. A Tambay Abt Audi +54.091s
16. A Farfus RBM BMW +1 lap
Edited to add:
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline has announced it will appeal the exclusion of winner Mattias Ekstrom due to an alleged violation of Section 44 of the DTM Sporting Regulations (Parc fermé rules). A tribunal will decide whether or not Ekstrom will regain his Norisring victory.
Until then, the results of the race are provisional.