Paul di Resta took a dominant win at Eurospeedway Lausitz and proved that the Mercedes resurgence in the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) is no fluke. The 22-year-old Scot started the race from the pole position -- one he won by a clear margin -- and simply ran away from the competition to take a 5.562-second victory over Timo Scheider, his first win in the DTM.
"I have had already a couple of podium finishes in the DTM, those were great, but it can't be any better than today," di Resta enthused. "Hopefully, there are many more of such days to follow!"
The ten points for the victory, combined with eight for the second place at the last race in Mugello, moved di Resta into second place in the championship standings, just three adrift of Scheider.
Scheider might have had some hopes of challenging di Resta for the victory, but the Mercedes qualifying performance effectively put paid to those hopes. With di Resta and Bruno Spengler sealing the front row for the Stuttgart marque, the Audis of Scheider and Mattias Ekstrom were behind the eight-ball from the start.
di Resta made it through the first corner in the lead, just holding off Spengler, who tried a move on the outside of his teammate. With a clear road in front of him di Resta was able to set quick lap after quick lap, while the Audi pack, with Martin Tomczyk joining Scheider and Ekstrom, was bottled up behind second-placed Spengler. The Canadian did not have the pace of di Resta today, but resisted any and all attempts by Scheider to seize second place.
It was the first round of pit stops, then, that gave Scheider and his Audi teammates the opening. With the Mercedes pit crew stumbling during Spengler's stop, the flawless Audi crews got all three challengers -- Scheider, Ekstrom and Tomczyk -- past the unfortunate Canadian.
By that time, though, di Resta's Mercedes was but a speck on the horizon, and while Scheider gave it his best, he was not able to make an impression on the black Mercedes.
"We can be very happy with this result," Scheider summed up his day. "It is better than expected. Throughout the race, I have given everything, but today, Paul (di Resta) was simply better."
For Scheider, the important thing was the solid eight-point haul for the second place, maintaining his championship lead with 26 points. Though di Resta, Jamie green and Ekstrom are nipping at his heels.
Ekstrom was three seconds behind the charging Scheider, and 1.7 seconds in front of Tomczyk, the third of the leading Audis. Given di Resta's qualifying pace, Ekstrom was satisfied with the outcome of the race -- a podium and six critical points. The Swede is now six points behind Scheider and just one adrift of Green, who finished fifth on the day, five seconds behind Tomczyk.
"In fact, I had quite a good race," Ekstrom said of his day. "The start wasn't really perfect, but apart from that, it went quite well. Compared to the race at Mugello, we have changed some things on the car which better suit my driving style."
Had it not been for di Resta's spectacular performance this weekend the biggest story might have been Alexandre Premat, the former A1GP champion for France, who is driving a 2007-spec Audi A4 in this year's series. Starting well back on the sixth row he made a stunning start, only to nudge Tom Kristensen's Audi into a spin on the first lap.
He then fought off challenges from fellow 2007 Audi drivers, Oliver Jarvis and Mike Rockenfeller, to take eighth and final points-paying position, 5.4 seconds behind Bernd Schneider's works Mercedes. However, Premat's joy was short-lived as the team was found to have used tires unallocated for the race for his final stint and the young Frenchman's spirited drive lost out to article 29.3 of the DTM regulations.
The series now takes a six-week summer holiday for the duration of the UEFA 2008 football (soccer) European championships, returning at the end of June at Norisring.