Tag Archives: Gary Paffett

DTM

AUDI LOCKS OUT TOP THREE AT ZANDVOORT – BATTLE FOR THE TITLE HOTS UP…

Zandvoort. The seventh DTM round of the season at Zandvoort in The Netherlands brought plenty of action. Intermittent rain, two safety-car phases and thrilling overtaking manoeuvres turned it into the most exciting race of the season. After 43 laps, Italian Edoardo Mortara emerged as the jubilant winner with his Audi A5 DTM. After his success at Spielberg, this was his second DTM victory of the year. His fellow Audi drivers Mike Rockenfeller from Germany and Swede Mattias Ekström followed in second and third place. Excitement is rising in the battle for the title: points’ leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) and Bruno Spengler (BMW) finished seventh and sixth. The third title aspirant, Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) ended up fourth and overtook Spengler to claim second place in the drivers’ standings.

After the race, 25-year old Mortara said: “This was the best race of my life, a really tough battle with ’Rocky’. Conditions were incredible: rain, dry, then rain again. When you are driving in such conditions, you can get off the track on every lap.”

For Audi, the race started with a heart-stopping moment: on pole position, Timo Scheider stalled his engine at the start and dropped back to 14th place. Later on, the race was over for the two times’ DTM champion after the bonnet had come off his car. In the course of the race, there were numerous position changes at the front of the field. Rockenfeller led until lap 32, when eventual winner Mortara overtook him,

Brit Jamie Green started the race from sixth place on the grid and experienced 43 very turbulent laps. The 30-year old crossed the finish line in fourth position as the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver. “For me, this race was a topsy-turvy affair. At the start, it was very good, but then, unfortunately, our first stop was too slow. After that, I was stuck and couldn’t overtake. When the rain set in, I was back in the race again. All in all, fourth place is quite a good result,” the 30-year old said.

Behind Audi driver Adrien Tambay from France, Canadian Bruno Spengler finished sixth with his BMW M3 DTM. Having started the race from 18th place, the 29-year old showed a great recovery. “That was a very good race, even though I wasn’t able to show the full potential of the car. I am happy that I could make it to the finish, because it was really difficult out there. Sixth place is the best we could manage,” Spengler said.

For points’ leader Gary Paffett (Mercdes-Benz), the race was an emotional roller-coaster ride. From sixth place on the grid, the Brit even had made it up into the lead. When rain set in again on lap 28, Paffett and BMW driver Martin Tomczyk collided in the battle for fourth place. The wheels of Tomczyk’s car locked up, he couldn’t avoid Paffett and turned the Brit around. Paffett dropped back to twelfth, but with first-class overtaking manoeuvres, he still made it all the way up to finish seventh. Tomczyk parked his car and immediately made his way to the Mercedes-Benz pit wall stand to apologize to head of motorsport Norbert Haug, who accepted the apologies. The two BMW drivers Dirk Werner and Augusto Farfus from Brazil as well as Ralf Schumacher with the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé rounded out the top ten.

In the drivers’ standings, Paffett remains in the lead with 109 points from Green with 93 and Spengler with 91 points. After his victory at Zandvoort, Mortara follows in fourth place with 74 points.

In total, 37,000 spectators attended the third DTM race of 2012 outside of Germany. The next round takes place at Oschersleben, September 16th.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “This was an exciting race with a fierce battle between the three Audi teams. It is nice to see that the performance is there. Now, we are there again where we always want to be: capable of winning. Here at Zandvoort, we were strong as an entire team. I am happy for the guys who have been working hard to achieve this success.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Gary was on his way to a podium finish until he was turned around, but the damage is limited with seventh place after a great recovery. Paffett and Green in first and second place in the drivers’ standings with three races remaining are a good basis. Today, our speed was very good, but the conditions weren’t.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director: “One can sum up this race under ’maximum damage control’. Bruno and Augusto have done a tremendous job. I feel sorry for Martin. He was doing very well, but he misjudged the grip as the rain set in. It was a racing accident, in which Gary was involved, too. Fortunately, Gary was able to continue. All in all, it was a good race result after a mediocre qualifying.”

DTM

Audi locks out first five starting grid positions – title candidates are showing nerves

Zandvoort. Audi surprises the opposition: in qualifying for the seventh DTM round of the year at Zandvoort in The Netherlands, the brand from Ingolstadt presented itself in excellent shape. No less than five Audi A5 DTMs lock out the first five places on the starting grid. The 2008 and 2009 DTM champion, Timo Scheider, was fastest in qualifying. For the German, it is the first pole position of the season and the tenth of his career. The three title candidates showed nerves: points’ leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) will start from eighth place, his main rival Bruno Spengler (BMW) in 18th and third-placed Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) from sixth position.

For Audi, it is the best DTM result of the year. Behind pole-sitter Scheider, his four fellow Audi drivers Mike Rockenfeller, Filipe Albuquerque, Edoardo Mortara and Mattias Ekström will be starting the race from second to fifth place. “I really had misty eyes in the car. In the team, we have been working very hard for months and we are now rewarded with pole. I have always kept faith in myself and I am particularly happy having claimed the fourth pole in total at my absolutely favourite track,” said Scheider.

Best-placed BMW driver of the day was Dirk Werner, who ended up seventh behind the fastest Mercedes-Benz driver, Jamie Green. Paffett, who is leading the drivers’ standings with 103 points and will be starting from eighth place, said after qualifying: “Unfortunately, we didn’t make it into the fourth qualifying heat, but given the circumstances, I am happy. The track seems to suit Audi very much, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use the full potential on a complete lap. Normally, our C-Coupé is very strong in the race and considering the weather forecast for Sunday, everything should be possible in the race.” Paffett’s fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Christian Vietoris and Audi driver Adrien Tambay from France rounded out the top ten.

Paffett’s fiercest rival Bruno Spengler gambled and lost. The Canadian, who is second in the drivers’ standings, 20 points down, drove one fast lap early in the first heat before returning to the pits, convinced that he would continue. “I thought, my time would be fast enough. However, conditions changed quickly and other drivers who were still on the track were able to improve. But worse things can happen. Now, I will try to make up positions from the back in the race and to score as many points as possible in the end,” said the 29-year old, who will be starting from 18th place following his retirement after the first qualifying heat.

The seventh round of the season covers 44 laps and 189.508 kilometres and will start on Sunday at 14.00 h (CET). ARD will be broadcasting live from 13.40 h

DTM

Jamie Green wins heartbeat finale at Norisring

Nuremberg. The fifth DTM round at the Norisring ended with a bang. With his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, British driver Jamie Green crowned a great recovery with his first season win and mastered the constantly changing weather conditions. With three laps remaining, the 30-year old was still in third place. After that, he first overtook Canadian BMW driver Bruno Spengler and then caught reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (BMW) to claim his fourth race win in Nuremberg in five years

For his employer Mercedes-Benz, it was the tenth consecutive victory at Norisring. “I am so proud of my success. The race was hard, but I felt really well in the car. On the last ten laps, my tyres built up an immense amount of grip and that enabled me to win”, said an overjoyed Green.

Tomczyk, who took the chequered flag in second place only 0.687 seconds behind Green, said after the race: “It is quite annoying when you are leading the race for 75 laps, but still don’t win. But with Bruno and myself, there were two BMW drivers on the podium, which is a great performance.” His fellow BMW driver Spengler rounded out the podium after finishing third.

Points’ leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) came home in an impressive fourth place. On the opening lap already, the weather conditions caused a mass collision, in which several cars were turned around, including the Brit’s car. The 31-year old dropped back to 20th place, but with strategically well-planned pit stops and a faultless race, he was able to make his way back up to finish fourth. Paffett remains in the lead of the drivers’ standings with 95 points from Green (69) and Spengler (58).

Paffett’s fellow Mercedes-Benz driver David Coulthard also had reason to celebrate. In fifth place, the Scot achieved his best DTM result to date. German Mike Rockenfeller ended up as the best-placed Audi driver in the only DTM race on a street circuit. “I started eleventh, so a sixth place at the end is not too bad. The DTM is tough, you have to take it as it comes”, the 28-year old said.

Brazilian Augusto Farfus (BMW) and Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi), who had started from third and fourth place respectively, were disappointed. They were also involved in the collision after the start of the race. Ekström immediately parked his car in the pits. Farfus still tried to complete the race, but had to give up on lap 16. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) also was unable to finish a race that had been good up to that point. The German even led the field, but then had to cope with technical problems and retired on lap 46.

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “That was nothing for people with weak nerves, a real thriller. Jamie has done a really good job. I knew that he had the speed and I was hoping for a win. The tenth win in a row at the Norisring is making me very happy and proud. However, we remain on the ground, we will not start thinking that we are unbeatable here. I am also happy for Gary as he still made it home in fourth place, in spite of the accident after the start.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director: “Of course, for me, it was an emotional roller-coaster. Missing out on a 1-2 that seemed so certain so closely before the end of the race is annoying, but we have four cars in the top ten, two of which are on the podium. This is a huge success for BMW and I am more than happy. I am looking forward to the next event in Munich. The stadium is within an eyeshot from our headquarters.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Today, it was more than disappointing. For us, the race was basically over in the first corner after ’Eki’ was pushed into the car in front of him and almost all our cars were involved in the turmoil. Mike Rockenfeller made it through the corner unscathed, but he also has lost a lot of time in the first pit stop.”

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: dtmmedia

Second season victory: Paffett wins home race at Brands Hatch

Fawkham. At the moment, he is the man to beat in the DTM: with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Briton Gary Paffett dominantly won the third round of the year at Brands Hatch (GB). At this season’s first round of the most popular international touring car series outside of Germany, the 31-year old scored a lights-to-flag win in his home race. “This was a great race, everything was perfect. Although my start wasn’t that good, I remained in front and was able to bring victory home without any problems. It would be great when things go on like this”, said Paffett, who already won the season opener at Hockenheim and now has 19 DTM race wins to his tally.

Bruno Spengler was also overjoyed having crossed the finish line after 97 laps to finish second with his BMW M3 DTM. The Canadian looked set to drive an undisputed second place home until ten laps before the end. Then, a front splitter broke on his car and the 28-year old had to defend his place from Mike Rockenfeller, who was behind him with the Audi A5 DTM. “I had a good race and tried to overtake Gary, but he didn’t make any mistakes. After the front splitter was broken, I lost downforce and I had to be careful. That enabled Rockenfeller to put me under pressure. Fortunately, it still was enough for me”, said Spengler. With 43 points, he is closest behind points’ leader Paffett, who is leading tzhe drivers’ standings with 68 points. Mattias Ekström (Audi) is third with 35 points.

With his Audi A5 DTM, Mike Rockenfeller made up one position at the start. The 28-year old German successfully defended his position against the attacks from reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (Audi) and managed to score a podium finish by coming home third. Rockenfeller commented after the race: “The result is very important for Audi and gives a boost to the entire team. At the end, I still tried to get past Bruno, but I didn’t want to risk everything, because the points for third place were very important to me.”

Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi) finished fifth behind Tomczyk. Christian Vietoris dropped back from second to ninth after a poor start. The Mercedes-Benz driver fought back and took the chequered flag in sixth place. Spaniard Miguel Molina (Audi), Briton Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) and the two Audi drivers Edoardo Mortara (IT) and Filipe Albuquerque (PT) rounded out the top ten.

In total, 27,000 fans attended the racing weekend in Kent County in the south-east of Great Britain. The next round takes place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, June 3rd.

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Now that was a really thrilling race and I am really delighted with this victory. It would be great when we can continue this series. Gary split up the race the way he needed it. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a walk in the park, because one has to remain incredibly focussed. After his poor start, Christian Vietoris has made up positions and finished sixth. That is something you first have to achieve at a track like this.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW motorsport director: “Bruno had a great start and moved up into second place. He put pressure on and was able to keep this up. After his front splitter was broken, we had problems with the aerodynamics of the vehicle. But Bruno did a great job in bringing his second place home. That was a very strong performance! The second podium after three races already is not what we had expected beforehand.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Today, we have made the best out of our possibilities. Especially Mike Rockenfeller and Miguel Molina were very quick in the race. The podium reflects the current situation in the DTM: all three manufacturers are competing at an identical level. It is a matter of tenths, hundredths and thousandths. Rocky’s third place gives the entire team an additional boost. Mattias Ekström has moved up to third place in the standings.”

Motorsports Mondial

Di Resta reaches for the stars – pole in an action-packed qualifying.

Shanghai: Scot Paul Di Resta has secured himself the best position for the battle for the 2010 DTM title. The Mercedes-Benz driver did the best job in the action-packed qualifying of the DTM season finale at the narrow 2.465 kilometres long street circuit in Shanghai and will be starting from pole position on Sunday at 8.23 h (CET). British driver Gary Paffett will also be starting from the front row, but from second place into the 60 lap race.

Third in the drivers’ standings, Di Resta’s fellow Mercedes-Benz driver also still has title chances. Points’ leader Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz), however, will be facing a difficult task. In the first heat of the four-stage qualifying, the Canadian hit the barriers. Although his car could still be repaired, Spengler failed to improve his time and will only be starting from 17th place. Di Resta said about his fourth pole position of the current season: “It was a very difficult qualifying with little grip. I tried not to take too many risks. First place on the grid is the best position in the battle for the title, but at this track, that can change quickly. One has to be very careful.”

German Timo Scheider was the best-placed Audi driver in qualifying. The reigning DTM champion ended up fourth behind Briton Jamie Green with the 2008-spec AMG Mercedes C-Class. Scheider, who had a crash after the time of the third qualifying heat had elapsed, was sidelined from the fourth and final heat. “Crashing at 220 km/h is not a nice feeling. Fortunately, nothing happened to me. We are now working flat out to get the car ready in time for the race”, Scheider said after qualifying.

Scot David Coulthard (Mercedes-Benz) scored his best DTM qualifying result to date in sixth place.

The final qualifying of the year brought plenty of action. After the accident of points’ leader Spengler in the first qualifying heat, the session was stopped. According to the regulations, all 18 drivers moved up into the next heat. However, this session was stopped early as well due to a crash by DTM rookie Darryl O’Young (Audi) from Hong Kong. As a result, all the drivers had a chance to battle for grid positions in the third heat. The final session of the four fastest drivers was stopped after a crash by Green. Thus, the classification of the third qualifying heat is decisive for the starting grid positions on Sunday.

The eleventh and final DTM race of the year will cover 60 laps and 147.9 kilometres. The start is at 8:23 h (CET). ARD is broadcasting live from 8.05 h.