DTM

Hockenheimring: Mercedes-Benz race report

Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cars in the Top Four Positions - Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) won the 2010 DTM's opening round at Hockenheim and began the new season like he had ended the previous one -- with a victory. Bruno ...

Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cars in the Top Four Positions

- Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) won the 2010 DTM's opening round at Hockenheim and began the new season like he had ended the previous one -- with a victory. Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) in positions two to four completed a quadruple win for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class after 39 laps (178.386 kms).

- It is Gary's 15th victory in his 60th DTM race, he has now won every fourth of his DTM races. For Mercedes-Benz, it is the 153rd win out of 321 races since 1988 -- a winning rate of 47.6 percent.

- In his DTM debut race, David Coulthard finished 12th despite a problem with the left door of his car; he was followed by the second Mercedes-Benz DTM rookie CongFu Cheng in 13th position.

- Ralf Schumacher (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home ninth, Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 11th and Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished 16th.

- A total of 78,000 spectators attended the 2010 DTM's first round at Hockenheim during the weekend.

The start: Gary Paffett started from the seventh pole position of his DTM career. He accelerated into an immediate lead ahead of Martin Tomczyk (Audi), Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green. At the hairpin, Tomczyk squeezed through and Gary was second after the opening lap. David Coulthard had a bad start and was 16th after lap one.

Lap 5: Gary Paffett drove in second position ahead of Jamie Green whilst Bruno Spengler was sixth followed by Paul Di Resta. Ralf Schumacher had improved to 10th ahead of Maro Engel.

Lap 10: Tomczyk spun due to a damaged tyre and Gary was back in the lead. Bruno Spengler and David Coulthard came in for their respective first pit stops, followed by Maro Engel one lap later.

Lap 12: Gary Paffett came in for his first mandatory pit stop. Maro Engel completed his second stop on the following lap.

Lap 14: First stop of Paul Di Resta.

Lap 15: Pit stops of Susie Stoddart as well as Ralf Schumacher and CongFu Cheng (lap 16)

Lap 20: As the last driver in the field, Jamie Green pitted from the lead.

Lap 21: Second pit stop of David Coulthard. Susie Stoddart followed two laps later.

Lap 24: Gary Paffett completed his second pit stop from second place; also Ralf Schumacher came in.

Lap 25: Respective second pit stops of Bruno Spengler and CongFu Cheng. Paul Di Resta followed on lap 26.

Lap 28: Again in the lead, Jamie Green came in for his second stop.

Lap 29: All drivers had completed their mandatory pit stops; Gary Paffett held the lead with 4.2sec ahead of Jamie Green; Bruno Spengler was third followed by Paul Di Resta. Ralf Schumacher was ninth, Susie Stoddart 12th -- followed by DTM newcomers David Coulthard and CongFu Cheng.

Lap 31: Bruno Spengler overtook Jamie Green and improved to second.

Finish (lap 39): Gary Paffett took the chequered flag for his 15th DTM win; he was followed by his Mercedes-Benz team mates Bruno Spengler, Jamie Green and Paul Di Resta.

Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), winner: "It is amazing. Yesterday I was on pole and today I won the race -- a perfect weekend for Mercedes-Benz and for me. Our team did a great job and found the optimum set-up for the race; thank you to everybody. The race was not as easy as it might have looked like, as I had to look after my tyres throughout."

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), second: "I am very happy. The second place is my best start into a DTM season so far. It would be great to continue like this. The result is a great reward for the entire team for their hard work over the winter."

Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), third: "A great start into the season for me and the team; I thank everybody at Mercedes-Benz and at Persson Motorsport. To finish third with the 2008 C-Class feels like winning the race."

Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class), fourth: "A difficult race as I struggled with the set-up throughout. At least I scored some valuable points."

Ralf Schumacher (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), ninth: "I was able to avoid contacts with other cars and had an uneventful race. However, starting 16th on the grid a better result was not possible."

Susie Stoddart (TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 11th: "I pushed as hard as I could and particularly towards the end of the race it ran really well. All in all a good race for me."

David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class), 12th: "I have to optimise my starts -- the start with the C-Class is different from one with a Formula One car. But the race was a good experience and the wheel-to-wheel fights were great fun."

CongFu Cheng (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 13th: "I am not satisfied, because I had a poor start and was not able to improve afterwards. At least I learned a lot during the race and I hope to achieve a better result next time."

Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class), 16th: "A race to forget. After a coming-together with Oliver Jarvis on lap two, my left front suspension was damaged and my lap times suffered from that. During my second pit stop there was a problem with the rear left wheel nut and I lost more time."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "A dream start into the new season for us, four C-Class cars in the top four positions, a better outcome is hardly possible. A great result of a great race for Mercedes-Benz. Congratulations to Gary -- he began the new season like he had ended the previous one here in Hockenheim -- with a convincing victory. The key to success here in Hockenheim was the handling of the Dunlop tyres - and we managed that. Thank you to the HWA team under Gerhard Ungar and to our partners Mucke and Persson. Our C-Class was here a real 'tyre whisperer'. Today, David Coulthard ended up significantly better than in yesterday's qualifying and also our second rookie CongFu Cheng showed a solid race."

-source: mercedes-benz

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