DTM

Hockenheimring II: Mercedes-Benz race report

Gary Paffett takes fourth win and comes home runner-up Teams' Championship for Salzgitter/Mercedes-Benz Bank § Six wins out of 10 races for Mercedes-Benz § Gary Paffett at the wheel of the Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class won the 2009...

Gary Paffett takes fourth win and comes home runner-up

Teams' Championship for Salzgitter/Mercedes-Benz Bank

§ Six wins out of 10 races for Mercedes-Benz

§ Gary Paffett at the wheel of the Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class won the 2009 DTM's 10th and final round at Hockenheim and took the runner-up position in the Drivers' Championship behind Timo Scheider (Audi). Salzgitter/Mercedes-Benz Bank with Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler took the Teams' Championship which is comparable to the Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship.

§ Mercedes-Benz drivers won six out of the 2009 season's 10 races; Gary alone took four victories. Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) were the other winners for Mercedes-Benz. In the 60th DTM race at Hockenheim, Mercedes-Benz took their 27th victory here. Mercedes-Benz won 152 out of 320 races since 1988.

§ After 39 laps (178.386 kms), Paul Di Resta came home third, 1.792sec behind winner Paffett; Jamie Green ended up fifth and Bruno Spengler who had started 15th was seventh.

§ Gary finished the championship with 54 points in second place, five points behind Scheider. Paul Di Resta who had won his home race at Brands Hatch in August ended the season third overall with 45 points. Norisring winner Jamie Green was seventh overall with 27 points and thus the best driver of a last year's car.

§ The team Salzgitter/Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG of Paffett and Spengler won the team championship with 100 points ahead of the best Audi crew with 85 points.

§ Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished 10th and Mathias Lauda (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home 14th. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/lap 32) and Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class/lap 1) retired due to accidents.

§ Several celebrities attended the Hockenheim event: The 1998 and 1999 Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen, also a former Mercedes-Benz DTM driver, together with his former McLaren Mercedes team mate David Coulthard; three times Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda; Sebastian Vettel, second overall of the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship; three-times Wimbledon champion Boris Becker; top model and Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador Eva Padberg.

§ A total of 155,000 spectators attended the 2009 DTM's 10th and final round at Hockenheim during the weekend.

The start: Gary Paffett had qualified second, 0.066sec behind pole position, whilst Paul Di Resta started fourth on the grid. Heading for the hairpin, Gary took the lead and was first after the opening lap. Paul lost one position and dropped to fifth.

Lap 2: Ralf Schumacher spun and lost the bonnet of his car; he pitted and retired.

Lap 3: Mattias Ekstrom overtook Gary at the hairpin. Paul was back in fourth place.

Lap 5: Ekstrom retired and Gary took the lead. Paul was third.

Lap 9: Mathias Lauda pitted for the first time, followed by Bruno Spengler and Maro Engel one lap later.

Lap 13: Gary Paffett pitted from the lead.

Lap 15: Paul Di Resta came into the pits.

Lap 16: Jamie Green completed his first pit stop; Susie Stoddart followed one lap later.

Lap 18: Second pit stop of Bruno Spengler.

Lap 21: Susie Stoddart pitted for the second time; fellow Scotsman Paul Di Resta followed on lap 22, as well as Maro Engel.

Lap 24: Leader Gary Paffett came in for his second stop.

Lap 25: Jamie Green completed his second stop; Mathias Lauda pitted on the following lap.

Lap 28: All drivers had completed their mandatory pit stops - Gary Paffett was in the lead ahead of Timo Scheider and Paul Di Resta; Bruno Spengler who had started 15th was fifth and Jamie Green eighth.

Lap 31: Susie Stoddart hit the kerbs at the first corner and went off into the tyre barrier. The Safety Car was deployed.

Lap 35: Re-start.

Finish (lap 39): Gary Paffett took victory; Paul Di Resta came home third, Jamie Green fifth and Bruno Spengler seventh.

Gary Paffett (2009 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) winner and runner-up in the championship: "I am very happy to have achieved my fourth win of the season and I thank my team -- again they gave me a perfect car. Unfortunately, I missed the championship win by five points, but I want to congratulate Timo Scheider, he was more consistent and deserved to win."

Paul Di Resta (2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class) third: "I am happy about my third places today and in the championship, this was the maximum which was possible here. There was no chance to catch Timo Scheider today.

Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) fifth: "I am the best driver with a last year's car here and in the overall ranking -- I can be satisfied with today's race and the 2009 season."

Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) seventh: "My race was ok -- I moved up from 15th on the grid to fifth. However, my final stint was very long and therefore, in the end my tyres faded a bit and I lost two positions."

Maro Engel (2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) 10th: "Again I was hit by another car, this is the story of almost my entire season. Without these incidents, I could be quite satisfied with my performance."

Mathias Lauda (2008 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th: "Following a coming-together in the opening stages I lost my good pace and wasn't able to achieve a better result."

Susie Stoddart (2008 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class): "Until my accident I had a great race and enjoyed the fight with Tom Kristensen. Then the suspension broke and all of a sudden my race was over. I am fine, but it's a shame to end the season this way and I am sorry for my mechanics -- they did a great job throughout the year.

Ralf Schumacher (2009 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) retired: "At the hairpin during the first corner, a couple of cars spun in front of me and I wasn't able to avoid them. Therefore, I lost the bonnet which also damaged a part of the electronics and caused an engine failure. So I wasn't able to continue."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "A sensational race by Gary Paffett and his C-Class. With four wins out of 10 races he is by far the driver with the most wins of the year and can claim to have won as many races alone as all our competitors together. Mercedes won six out of 10 races and the teams' championship with a significant margin -- a great balance. Thank you to the HWA team headed by Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jurgen Mattheis, I am glad for the entire team. Cordial congratulations to Timo Scheider and Abt Audi on the title win -- Timo scored five points more, Gary achieved two wins more, Timo deserved to win."

-credit: m-b

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