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Paffett and Green finish 1-2 in DTM opener

Monday, April 30 2012

Gary Paffett won the opening round of the DTM at Hockenheim yesterday (Sunday), with compatriot and fellow Mercedes driver Jamie Green taking second place. The pair finished well ahead of double champion Mattias Ekstrom, driving the leading Audi, whilst Andy Priaulx and David Coulthard also made it into the top ten.

Qualifying for the race in sixth place, Paffett was already up to fourth on the first lap, having cleared Derk Werner and Mike Rockenfeller. The 2005 DTM champion then showed his class, taking third from Edoardo Mortara, before an error from Ekstrom let both he and new leader Green past.

A first pitstop one lap later than Green's brought Paffett within striking distance of the leading Mercedes and the pair ran side-by-side before the latter took the lead. With Ekstrom unable to keep up with the Britons, the podium positions were resolved in this order.

Rockenfeller lost fourth place late on to Christian Vietoris, who staged a strong comeback drive from 15th, and Priaulx almost made it past too. The Guernseyman was the highest-placed BMW by some way, with Werner and Bruno Spengler victims of Ralf Schumacher's wild race. However the brother of seven-time F1 World Champion Michael eventually climbed to seventh place, one ahead of Coulthard.

After the race, an ecstatic Paffett said: "What a fantastic start to the new DTM era. Many thanks to the team for their hard work - my Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was tuned perfectly. After a difficult season in 2011, I am pleased to have found the way back to the podium top spot. I've always believed in the team and my speed and that's now paid off. The scrap with Jamie was really exciting and always very fair, which is exactly how racing should be, simply terrific!"

Green, who won the last race of the 2011 season added: "Second place on the podium - what a great way to start the 2012 season! I'm well satisfied and am delighted with the one-two win for Mercedes-Benz in the first race of the season."

Highlights of the race can be seen at 10:30am on ITV4 this Saturday (5 May) and round three of the DTM will take place at Brands Hatch on 18-20 May.

DTM Round 1 - Hockenheim Result
1, Gary Paffett, HWA Mercedes, 40 Laps
2, Jamie Green, HWA Mercedes, +4.709s
3, Mattias Ekstrom, Abt Audi, +19.434s
4, Christian Vietoris, HWA Mercedes, +25.774s
5, Mike Rockenfeller, Phoenix Audi, +27.834s
6, Andy Priaulx, RBM BMW, +28.435s
7, Ralf Schumacher, HWA Mercedes, +39.948s
8, David Coulthard, Mucke Mercedes, +43.306s
9, Miguel Molina, Phoenix Audi, +46.079s
10, Filipe Albuquerque, Rosberg Audi, +46.614s

Tickets for DTM at Brands Hatch are on sale from £29, with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.