Gary Paffett wins ahead of Christijan Albers Starting from his first DTM pole position Jean Alesi accelerated into an immediate lead ahead of the Audi A4 DTMs of Martin Tomczyk and Tom Kristensen. Paffett improved from fourth on the grid to...
Gary Paffett wins ahead of Christijan Albers
Starting from his first DTM pole position Jean Alesi accelerated into an immediate lead ahead of the Audi A4 DTMs of Martin Tomczyk and Tom Kristensen. Paffett improved from fourth on the grid to third at the end of the opening lap. Schneider and Albers followed in positions five and nine respectively.
On lap 6, Schneider passed Kristensen whilst Alesi came in for his first compulsory pit stop. Schneider pitted one lap later. Both Paffett and Albers came in on lap 8.
On lap 13, Alesi had the lead ahead of Paffett, Schneider and Albers. The Frenchman pitted for the second time on lap 16 whilst Albers, Paffett and Schneider came in on laps 18, 20 and 21 respectively. He rejoined the race immediately behind Paffett.
On lap 23, Schneider passed his team mate right behind the hairpin. Jean Alesi dropped to eighth position until lap 25 due to a damaged undertray, before he stopped in the pits and retired. Schneider pitted on lap 33 and ended his race due to a broken wishbone at the right front suspension. Paffett won his first DTM race after only nine starts.
Gary Paffett C-Klasse AMG-Mercedes:
"This was a perfect weekend and an incredible race for me. My team did a fantastic job and I thank everybody who trusted me and hired me for HWA."
Christijan Albers DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes:
"I lost valuable time at the second corner and at the hairpin when I had to avoid collided cars. After my early second pit stop my tyres faded and I wasn't able to attack in the end."
Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG-Mercedes:
"In the course of the race I had two coming-togethers with Kristensen and Ekström which damaged my suspension. Everything was fine until six laps from the end. I'm afraid I might miss the ten possible points I lost today later this year."
Jean Alesi AMG-Mercedes:
"My car was perfect throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, today something broke at the undertray and I had to retire. But I'Äm happy for Gary and Christijan and the 1-2 victory for Mercedes-Benz."
Sonax Dark Dog AMG-Mercedes, Jarek Janis finished 13th in first DTM race and was the best driver with a last year's car. Bernd Mayländer, CLK AMG-Mercedes improived from 15th on the grid to seventh during the opening lap. After he made a mistake under braking at the Sachs corner on lap 15 he eventually finished 14th.
Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, Markus Winkelhock ended up 15th in his first DTM race. CLK AMG-Mercedes, Stefan Mücke's race ended five laps from the end at the Sachs corner. He retired from tenth place due to the right front fender dragging at the tyre.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"A great job from Gary Paffett and the HWA team headed by Gerhard Ungar, Hans-Jürgen Mattheis and boss Hans Werner Aufrecht. I thank the team for working so hard during the winter to make the new C-Class competitive for the first race, and for the 1-2 victory of Gary and Christijan Albers. The spectators at the track and in front of the TV screens have seen fantastic sport. I'm sorry for Jean Alesi and Bernd Schneider. Both could have won the race. Jean retired due to a damaged undertray. Bernd's damaged suspension was the consequence of the two coming-togethers with Tom Kristensen and Mattias Ekström."