Battle for the title remains exciting
The battle for the DTM title will be decided in the season finale at Hockenheim. In the ninth DTM season round at Valencia in Spain, favourites Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) faltered. After collisions and penalties, they lost valuable points in the battle for the DTM champion’s crown. Augusto Farfus had his name written in the DTM history books by becoming the first Brazilian race winner with his BMW M3 DTM. He finished ahead of Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström (both Audi), who ended up second and third.
Points’ leader Paffett was involved in a collision on the opening lap, incurred a time penalty later on and finally parked his car in the pits on lap 27. The Brit still remains competitive: “We are still in the lead of the championship. Here, we had a bad weekend, but at Hockenheim, we will be quick and fight for victory.” Spengler dropped back to the end of the field after a drive-through penalty because of a jump start. The Canadian still scored valuable points by finishing sixth. “Fortunately, I was able to drive consistently fast after the penalty and score important points,” Spengler said. Green was given a drive-through penalty for leaving the track after his first pit stop. “Nevertheless, we will fight until the last lap at Hockenheim,” he said after his tenth place at Valencia. Prior to the Hockenheim season finale, Paffett is leading with 127 points from Spengler (124) and Green (109).
Race winner Farfus crossed the finish line full of emotions. “Winning here in the DTM is such a privilege. I am overjoyed,” said the 29-year old, who started from pole position and scored his maiden DTM race win. Rookie Tambay was equally happy with his second place. Swiss lady racer Rahel Frey left 15 drivers behind her by finishing seventh with her Audi A5 DTM, scoring her first-ever DTM points. For the Mercedes-Benz drivers, the race was disappointing. They would have loved to show this week-end’s 24,000 spectators at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo more than Jamie Green’s tenth place as the best driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.
Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “Huge congratulations to Augusto Farfus. Being on pole and bringing victory home here as a rookie driver was a great performance. We have four BMWs in the top ten and Bruno Spengler has reduced the gap. Now, we have an entirely open championship situation for Hockenheim, which is what we wanted. Now, we need to continue to work in a concentrated way and see what comes out.”
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “We have reached our goal to score many points for the manufacturers’ championship here. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win. Nevertheless, all our cars were at a high level and it is enthusing to see how many young drivers have come to the fore. Adrien Tambay scored a podium finish in second place and Rahel Frey has shown a great performance, too.”
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Gary had a good start and already had made up several places. In the collision, his car was significantly damaged and there was no point in carrying on. It is the first time this season that Gary hasn’t scored any points. The finale at Hockenheim in three weeks’ time will be thrilling and Gary still has all the chances.”
The DTM finale takes place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from October 19th till 21st.