British DTM driver Gary Paffett today added to his tally of Championship points with a fifth place finish at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. After seven rounds of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, Paffett is only one of two drivers to have ...
British DTM driver Gary Paffett today added to his tally of Championship points with a fifth place finish at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.
After seven rounds of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, Paffett is only one of two drivers to have scored points at every round of the Championship.
On a grey September afternoon, Paffett lined up on the third row of the grid in fifth place, having missed out on Saturday's top four final qualifying shoot-out by just 0.005 seconds.
When the lights went out at 13.00 local time, Paffett made a great start, taking fourth place from Schumacher before reaching turn one. Paffett then began to hunt down third-placed Scheider.
After a few laps Paffett was starting to close in on Scheider, consistently lapping quicker than him in the first sector and setting a personal best on lap 14. Paffett however was struggling with oversteer so was unable to close the gap sufficiently to challenge for P3.
On lap 24 Paffett made a slick pit stop of 3.6 seconds, feeding back out onto the track in P14.
A combination of a smooth pit stop and some strong lap times by Paffett meant that when Scheider rejoined the track following his pit stop that Paffett was right on his tail.
Paffett's second set of tyres saw the oversteer worsen and resulted in Scheider being able to pull away. Over the coming laps the distance between third-placed Scheider and fourth-placed Paffett fluctuated as Scheider pulled out a small gap, only for Paffett to begin to close it again. However the issue of oversteer meant that Paffett was unable to close right up on the back of Scheider.
Running in second place, Spengler's first pitstop saw him come out directly ahead of Scheider, which in turn backed him into Paffett. However Paffett was unable to hang on to the back of Scheider.
On lap 45 after everyone had taken their first pit stop, Paffett was running in fourth position. With fifth-placed Jarvis starting to close the gap on Paffett, Paffett turned his focus to maintaining fourth position.
On lap 58 Paffett pitted for the second time and rejoined the track in P12, maintaining track position ahead of Jarvis and looking good for a fourth place finish.
However, fifth-placed Molina was on a different race strategy to Paffett and took a very late pitstop on lap 73. Having had a clear track on which to set quick lap times before his pitstop he was able to leapfrog Paffett and take fourth place.
After 98 laps of the Brands Hatch circuit Paffett crossed the finish line in fifth place.
"That was a frustrating race for me. Coming to Brands Hatch on the back of my win at Zandvoort I had hoped for a better performance in both qualifying and the race in front of my home crowd;" commented Paffett.
"I was really suffering with oversteer all weekend so to be honest fifth place was the best I could expect with the car handling how it was;" continued Paffett
"While I hoped to pick up more points today, there are still four races to go with forty points up for grabs so the race for the Championship remains very much alive and kicking;" added Paffett.
Today's result puts Paffett third in the Championship with (39) points, four points behind second-placed Di Resta. With four races to go in the 2010 season Paffett's team - Salzgitter Mercedes-Benz AMG - currently lead the team ranking with (79) points.
Gary Paffett will head to Oschersleben for Round Eight of the Championship on the 19th September.