BRAMPTON, Ont. – September 4, 2018 – Hankook race tires, paired with a courageous strategy, propelled BMW driver Joel Eriksson to his first win during the 2018 DTM season on the Misano World Circuit, Sunday, August 26th. Spectators witnessed an eventful race with many battles for position and a host of different tire strategies, Eriksson proved to have the right tactic, allowing the DTM rookie from Sweden to claim victory on the 31-lap race.
Joel Eriksson started the race from twelth place on Hankook slick tire while all the other DTM drivers lined up on a damp grid with wet tires. On the ninth lap, when the rain started to fall, Eriksson made his mandatory pitstop and switched to Hankook‘s wet tire, on which he consistently climbed through the field, helped in part by a safety car phase.
“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,” said Joel Eriksson, BMW. “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.”
Eriksson overtook long-time leader Mercedes-Benz driver, Edoardo Mortara, who began the race on the Hankook wet tire, when he made his mandatory pitstop on lap 25. Once in the lead, Eriksson was able to defend his position right through to the finish. Runner-up Mortara was followed home by reigning DTM champion Audi driver René Rast, finishing in third place. Mercedes-Benz driver Paul Di Resta finished sixth and now tops the overall standings, ahead of fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers Gary Paffett and Mortara.
“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,” said Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Tire Motorsport Director Europe. “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.”
“The conditions were incredibly tough today, similar to yesterday,” said Edoardo Mortara, Mercedes-Benz, after Sunday’s race. “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.”
“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, ” said René Rast, Audi. “I am happy to be on the podium in these conditions.”
Spectators were also treated to an exciting motorsport experience as 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. Additionally, guest starter Alessandro Zanardi BMW also had cause to celebrate as the Italian finished a sensational fifth.
“I drove the formation lap on slicks, but my engineer and I decided to start on wet tires,” said Alessandro Zanardi, BMW. “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.”