FRUSTRATING SEVENTH PLACE FINISH IN ZANDVOORT FOR PAFFETT IN LATEST ROUND OF DTM CHAMPIONSHIP
British racing driver Gary Paffett endured a frustrating race in Zandvoort after being tapped into a spin on lap 28 left him out of contention for a podium finish.
Despite the disappointing outcome to the race, Paffett maintains his Championship lead; 16 points ahead of his nearest rival.
The THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé driver had a difficult qualifying session on Saturday. While the car had been quick during the free practice sessions on Friday, Paffett struggled for pace and was only able to post a time quick enough for P8 during the qualifying session.
However on Sunday morning, Paffett headed out on the wet track for the morning warm up and posted the fastest time of the session, so he went into the race confident of a good result.
Paffett took to the grid in eighth place. The morning’s rain had stopped and the track had dried out, but just before the race started there was a quick shower, leaving the track slippery. Despite the tricky track conditions Paffett got off the line well and was up past Green, Werner and Scheide to P5 by the end of lap one.
At the end of lap one the safety car was brought out for three laps. At the restart Green took a lunge down the inside of Paffett and snatched P5 from his teammate.
Just three laps later the safety car was brought out once again, this time to deal with debris on the track. At the restart Paffett made his first pitstop of the afternoon and by stopping early managed to jump Green and Albuquerque so was up to P4.
Paffett then set about catching Ekstrom for third place. On lap 15 Paffett outbraked Ekstrom and snatched third place. Pushing hard, Paffett was soon on the back of second placed Mortara.
Lap 23 Paffett made his second pitstop of the afternoon. Paffett was the last one to pit and unfortunately rejoined the track just behind Ekstrom in fourth place. On lap 28 it began to rain again and as Paffett headed into turn one he was hit from behind by Tomczyk and tapped into a spin. As a result Paffett dropped down to eleventh position.
Paffett then set about pushing hard to catch the train of cars ahead of him battling for sixth to tenth places. He was lapping a second a lap quicker than those in front of him so by lap 39 had caught the back of the train of cars and passed Werner for ninth and then Farfus for eighth place.
It took just three more laps for Paffett to catch and pass Schumacher for seventh place. Paffett then had a challenging end to the race as part of the rear wheel arch that had been damaged when he had been hit earlier broke off leaving him with no rear grip. However Paffett was able to fend of the cars behind him and after 43 laps of racing crossed the finish line in seventh place.
“While it’s disappointing to be coming away with a seventh place finish, we can be pleased with the fact we recovered well from a racing incident that was out of our control. Unfortunately we were looking good for at least a podium finish, if not a win, and this would have helped me extend my Championship lead;” commented Gary Paffett.
“Although my Championship lead has been reduced over the last two races it has not been because of our performance which has been really strong, so we head to the next race confident of a good result and extending our lead in the Championship;” continued Gary Paffett.
Paffett heads to Oschersleben on the 16th September for the next round of the Championship.
Paffett currently leads the drivers’ Championship with 109 points with Green in second place with 93 points and Spengler in third place with 91 points.
Source: Gary Paffett Press