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Gary Paffett storms to victory in DTM season opener

Monday, April 26 2010

Kent racer Gary Paffett leads the DTM German Touring Car Championship after clinching a commanding victory in the season opening event at Hockenheim last Sunday (18 April).

Paffett, who is also a reserve driver for the McLaren F1 team, secured pole position but lost the lead on the opening lap to Audi's Martin Tomczyk. However, a spin for Tomczyk on lap 11 due to a puncture allowed the Bromley driver to regain first place.

The 2005 DTM champion was pressured in the middle part of the race by Audi rival Mattias Ekstrom, but Ekstrom was forced to take an additional pit stop after it was ruled he pitted initially before the window was open, which allowed Paffett to cruise home to a comfortable victory.

"Yesterday I was on pole and today I won the race - a perfect weekend for Mercedes-Benz and for me," said Paffett. "The race was not as easy as it might have looked like, as I had to look after my tyres throughout. Our team did a great job and found the optimum set-up for the race; thank you to everybody."

Mercedes dominated the opening event of the season, with a charging Bruno Spengler snatching second position ahead of British racers Jamie Green and Paul di Resta in third and fourth respectively.

Mike Rockenfeller was the lead Audi driver in fifth place ahead of Mattias Ekstrom, who recovered from his additional pit stop to cross the line in sixth. Fellow Audi racers Timo Scheider and Spaniard Miguel Molina rounded out the top eight.

Ex-F1 driver David Coulthard finished twelfth on his DTM debut for Mercedes, fending off fellow series rookie Franky Cheng. There was only one retirement - Audi's Oliver Jarvis, who was involved in a collision on lap two.

DTM, Hockenheim result:
1. Gary Paffett (2009 Mercedes C Class), 1h02m31.580s
2. Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes C Class), + 0.567s
3. Jamie Green (2008 Mercedes C Class), + 1.841s
4. Paul di Resta (2009 Mercedes C Class), + 2.251s
5. Mike Rockenfeller (2008 Audi A4 DTM), + 3.201s
6. Mattias Ekstrom (2009 Audi A4 DTM). + 3.420s
7. Timo Scheider (2009 Audi A4 DTM), + 13.067s
8. Miguel Molina (2008 Audi A4 DTM), + 13.503s

DTM will make its only UK visit to Brands Hatch on 3/4/5 September. Tickets are now on sale from £24 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.