The Swedish pair traded fastest times through the qualifying sessions, Ekstrom’s job made harder when he was beaten to semi-final two victory by KYB Team JC teammate Robin Larsson.
Reigning European champion Larsson then challenged pole starter Kristoffersson for the race lead at turn one of the final, but was forced wide on the exit of the corner and did a brilliant job to remain in control of his Audi S1.
Behind, Ekstrom dived straight into the compulsory joker lap on the outside of turn two, chased by Kevin Hansen.
Larsson hassled the rear of Kristoffersson’s Volkswagen Polo on lap one, as Ekstrom caught Andreas Bakkerud, passing the Norwegian at the first turn of the second tour, Bakkerud’s GCK Renault Megane slowed by a problem.
Larsson immediately responded to Ekstrom’s lap one joker at the first opportunity, followed into the compulsory extra route by Timo Scheider. Larsson returned to the standard lap behind Ekstrom, the double DTM champion in free air to chase Kristoffersson up front.
In an epic battle of exchanging lap times by two of the most successful drivers in the series’ history, Ekstrom initially closed the gap to the championship leader, but Kristoffersson took half a second back on lap four with the fastest lap of the entire double-header weekend.
Ekstrom however had…