Mattias Ekström triumphs in Valencia but it's Martin Tomczyk who'll be happiest this evening...
With his third-place finish at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana, Martin Tomczyk picked up his first DTM Championship title. It's the biggest triumph in the 29-year-old Bavarian's career. It's also the first time a driver has won the title in a year-old car.
Mattias Ekström was in a different class throughout the whole race, eventually beating Filipe Albuquerque by a ten-second margin. But the spotlight was on Tomczyk right from the start of the season's penultimate race – and it was a suitably impressive race from the Phoenix Audi driver.
He started from tenth on the grid but was already sixth after the opening lap and he held his nerve to get all the points required to have the title sewn up ahead of the finale at Hockenheim.
It's a much-deserved triumph for Tomczyk. Since entering DTM at the age of 19 in 2001, the German driver has become something of an elder statesman in the sport with 112 races under his belt. Only Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekström have competed in more. Everyone in DTM has been quick to praise the driver.
'I extend warm congratulations to Martin Tomczyk, his team and the entire Audi squad on this outstanding achievement. The fans experience captivating duels at the highest sporting level and Martin is an absolutely deserving champion of the 2011 season,' said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.
Audi Head of Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich had this say: 'Absolutely well done, I’m tremendously happy for Martin. He has been a member of our Audi family in the DTM for eleven years and has experienced many ups and - no doubt - downs. But he has never lost his spirit and has emerged as a leader, particularly this season. Now he has rewarded himself and his team for the hard work and the fighting spirit with the title. We’ve always known that Martin is a strong racer and a great guy - now he’s also a true champion.'
Hear, hear. Well done, Martin.