London, UK – Gary Paffett finished ninth in the penultimate round of the 2013 DTM season at the historic Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands today.
During Q1 the car felt much better but unfortunately Paffett was unable to find much grip on his second run in Q2 and lost time in the first sector, resulting him not advancing to Q3 and settling for 12th. With the race set at 44 laps today, Paffett was hoping to push forward like he had done at Oschersleben a few weeks ago. With an aggressive pit stop strategy, he brought his EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé car into the pits after just four laps. Rejoining the race in 17th, he was able to take advantage of his early stop and move up the gird as other drivers pitted.
Paffett got as high as eighth but wasn’t able to hold on. By pitting early on his second stop, he didn’t have the grip for his final long stint and was eventually overtaken by Ekström to finish ninth.
“It was a disappointing result to be honest,” said Paffett. “By starting 12th it was very difficult to be able to move forward so I couldn’t do much more. We opted to make my pit stops early to try and move up the grid that way, which initially worked, but then left me with a long final stint. Unfortunately I just didn’t have enough grip and then struggled to maintain position.”
Commenting on the DTM championship being decided at Zandvoort today Paffett went on to say, “I need to congratulate Mike Rockenfeller on winning the DTM championship title. He drove a fantastic season and earned the title.
We tried to beat him and Audi but unfortunately just didn’t have the success. I am hoping that at the season finale in Hockenheim, Mercedes-Benz home race, I can have a better result and finish the season on a high note.”
Paffett ties Bruno Spengler for fifth place in the DTM championship standings with 67 points, just four points from third. The season finale will take place from 19-20 October in Hockenheim.