Fifth Win and Championship Lead for Gary Paffett
Mika Häkkinen second ahead of Bernd Schneider and Jamie Green
Four AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars up front; six C-Class cars among top-ten
Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) won the tenth and penultimate round of the 2005 DTM at Istanbul. After 32 laps, Paffett was 3.222sec ahead of his Mercedes team mates Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes), Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) and Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes). Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes), who made an additional pit stop to refuel ended up seventh.
Paffett has now won five out of the season's ten races so far. Three weeks before the final race at Hockenheim, the Englishman regained the overall lead with 78 points ahead of Ekström with 69 points; the Swede came home 12th today and did not score. For the eighth time in 18 years of DTM history, the drivers' title fight will be decided in the final race. DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes (Paffett/Alesi) has already won the team ranking with 100 points ahead of Abt Sportsline with 79.
Starting from his fourth pole position of the year, Gary Paffett accelerated into an immediate lead ahead of Schneider. Green was third at the end of the opening lap ahead of Häkkinen and Alesi. Bruno Spengler who had qualified the 2004 C-Class third dropped to seventh behind Ekström. Häkkinen overtook Green entering lap two to take third position.
Paffett, Schneider and Alesi made their first pit stops on lap 17. Now Häkkinen held the lead ahead of Green and Ekström. These three pitted one lap later and Paffett regained the lead. Häkkinen was second ahead of Schneider, Green and Alesi, who did not refuel during his first stop because Jean's radio did not work and he therefore came into the pits too late.
The Frenchman pitted for the second time on lap 20 and dropped to eighth. Paffett and Häkkinen made their second compulsory stop on lap 24 with Schneider and Green pitting one lap later. After wards, Paffett led ahead of Häkkinen, Schneider and Green.
After 32 laps these four crossed the finish line in the same order. On lap 26, Alesi pitted a third time to refuel and came home seventh ahead of Spengler. It has been at the A1-Raing three years ago, that the HWA team achieved a 1-2-3-4 success.
Gary Paffett, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes, winner:
"In the difficult conditions on the wet track I started really well and our team did a perfect job, particularly with the pit stops. I'm really happy about my fifth win of the year and want to thank everybody. However, nothing is over yet and we will give our all again at Hockenheim."
Mika Häkkinen, Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes, second:
"A perfect race for the team and for me. They gave me a perfect car which made my second place possible. I thank everybody for their great efforts."
Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, third:
"I started quite well, but not ideally. Then I was able to follow Gary until our first pitstops, but dropped to third behind Mika later. Afterwards I didn't take chances in order to score as many points as possible for the team."
Jamie Green, Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes, fourth:
"It was a difficult race on the slightly drying track. However, my car ran well and at the end of the opening lap I was able to overtake Ekström who was significantly slower."
Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, seventh:
"I'm not quite satisfied as the car ran very well and a better result would have been possible. But we had a problem with our radio and therefore I came in too late for my first pit stop and was not able to refuel. As a consequence I had to pit a third time."
Bruno Spengler, Mercedes Second Hand Cars, eighth and best driver with a last year's car:
"Visibility was really poor and braking for the first corner was like a lottery. Then I suffered from understeer; however, that disappeared in the end and I was able to score one point."
Stefan Mücke, Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes improved from 19th on the grid to ninth at the chequered flag. His team mate Alexandros Margaritis came home 11th.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"An excellent job by Gary, Mika, Bernd, Jamie and Jean. Congratulations to the entire team on this first-class result. Everybody in the HWA team under Hans-Jürgen Mattheis and Gerhard Ungar performed really well and received the best reward."
"It is great to achieve a second win on this challenging circuit six weeks after Kimi Räikkönen's Grand Prix victory. Gary and we still need one point in the championship, and until the grand finale at Hockenheim on 23 October everything remains open. DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes already won the team championship - thanks and congratulations on that for everybody."