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Paffett expecting tough fight for DTM victory

Sunday, May 20 2012

Local man Gary Paffett is expecting a tough and gruelling battle for victory in the DTM race at Brands Hatch today (Sunday 20 May), despite clinching the all important pole position in a dramatic qualifying session.

The Mercedes driver, who hails from nearby Bromley, leads the DTM championship standings heading into the third round at Brands Hatch this weekend and he continued his impressive run of form by grabbing pole in an incredibly tight qualifying session yesterday. The McLaren F1 test driver secured pole by 0.144s from Mercedes team mate Christian Vietoris with the top four split by two tenths of a second.    

With 98 laps around the circuit deciding the victor today, Paffett, who will be supported by fellow McLaren F1 team mate and 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, is expecting an extremely challenging battle for the win to increase his championship lead.

He said: "It's still going to be really tough, it's never going to be easy but if we can get a good start and get out in front at least we can run our own race and try and control things from the front. When you're starting behind you're having to follow people, having to see what their strategy is to try and react to try and beat them, but if you start at the front if you get a good start you can run your own race, which makes it a lot easier.

Paffett is yet to win a DTM race on home soil despite coming close on several occasions and will be hoping he can finally deliver a drive to see him reach the top step of the podium.

He said: "We've shown the last two races us as a manufacturer and myself have had the fastest race pace of anyone so I think if we can get a good start we should have good enough race pace to win so it's not all done but it's certainly in the right direction."

The 98 lap DTM race around the 1.2 mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit begins at 1pm.  

DTM Qualifying Top 10

1. Gary Paffett, GBR, HWA Mercedes, +41.266s
2. Christian Vietoris, GER, HWA Mercedes, +0.144s
3. Bruno Spengler, CAN, Schnitzer BMW, +0.196s
4. Mike Rockenfeller, GER, Phoenix Audi, +0.218s
5. Martin Tomczyk, GER, RMG BMW, 41.101s (Q3)
6. Filipe Albuquerque, POR, Rosberg Audi, 41.142s (Q3)
7. Adrien Tambay, FRA, Abt Audi, 41.156s (Q3)
8. Mattias Ekström, SWE, Abt Audi, 41.163s (Q3)
9. Augusto Farfus, BRA, RBM BMW, 41.172s (Q3)
10. Jamie Green, GBR, HWA Mercedes, +41.284s (Q3)

Tickets for today's DTM race at Brands Hatch are available on the gate for £35, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.