Catalunya: Mercedes-Benz race report

Fourth place for Gary Paffett, fifth place for Bruno Spengler § Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished the 2009 DTM's eighth round at Barcelona in fourth place and was the best C-Class driver. After 59 laps (175.643 kms),...

Fourth place for Gary Paffett, fifth place for Bruno Spengler

§ Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished the 2009 DTM's eighth round at Barcelona in fourth place and was the best C-Class driver. After 59 laps (175.643 kms), Bruno Spengler came home fifth whilst Paul Di Resta who had won at Brands Hatch two weeks ago ended up seventh. Following four Mercedes wins out of the previous seven races, the 2009 C-Class started in Barcelona with a 10-kilogram weight handicap.

§ After eighth out of 10 races, Paffett -- winner of two races this year - is third in the overall ranking with 39 points. Spengler is fifth with 33 points. Today's winner Scheider (Audi) leads with 53 points.

§ The team Salzgitter/Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG of Paffett and Spengler is third in the team ranking with 72 points which is comparable to the Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship.

§ Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished in 10th place ahead of Mathias Lauda (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class); Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) who had started from 20th and last position due to an engine change ended up 13th ahead of Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class). Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home 15th following a drive-through penalty.

§ Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test driver Pedro de la Rosa visited the DTM event at Barcelona on Sunday. He drove the Mercedes-Benz DTM race taxi and signed autographs for his Spanish fans. Afterwards, he watched the race from the pit wall.

§ A total of 30,500 spectators attended the 2009 DTM's eighth round at Barcelona during the weekend..

The start: Paul Di Resta started from the front row, Gary Paffett from fourth on the grid. Bruno Spengler was relegated from the initial fourth place to eighth because his fuel tank did not hold the required amount of fuel after qualifying. Ralf Schumacher started from 20th place instead of 11th after his team decided to change the engine after Sunday morning's warm-up. The old engine will be tested on the dyno in Stuttgart to analyse what caused the problem. -- After the opening lap, Paul Di Resta was third; Gary Paffett fifth and Bruno Spengler eighth. Ralf Schumacher improved by six positions to 14th place.

Lap 15: Paul Di Resta, Gary Paffett and Mathias Lauda came in for their respective first pit stops.

Lap 17: Jamie Green overtook Ralf Schumacher for 14th place. Maro Engel pitted for the first time.

Lap 18: First pit stop of Susie Stoddart.

Lap 23: Bruno Spengler completed his first routine halt.

Lap 24: Jamie Green completed his first stop whilst Paul Di Resta came in for the second time.

Lap 25: Second stop of Gary Paffett; Ralf Schumacher followed one lap later for his first stop.

Lap 28: Ralf Schumacher overtook Markus Winkelhock for 12th place. Susie Stoddart touched Katherine Legge when passing her.

Lap 29: Gary Paffett passed Paul Di Resta for fifth position.

Lap 32: Three seconds pit stop penalty for Jamie Green because of an incident with Markus Winkelhock. Maro Engel came in for his second stop.

Lap 33: Ralf Schumacher completed his second mandatory stop. Bruno Spengler followed one lap later, as well as Jamie Green. Drive-through penalty for Susie Stoddart following the incident with Katherine Legge.

Lap 38: Susie Stoddart came in for her second mandatory stop.

Lap 43: Bruno Spengler overtook Paul Di Resta.

Lap 44: After all drivers had completed their mandatory stops, Gary Paffett was fourth; Bruno Spengler followed in sixth place ahead of Paul Di Resta.

Lap 49: Whilst Gary Paffett was under pressure from Mattias Ekstrom, Bruno Spengler closed in on both drivers.

Lap 58: Bruno Spengler passed Mattias Ekstrom for fifth place.

Finish (lap 59): Gary Paffett finished in fourth place ahead of Bruno Spengler whilst Paul Di Resta came home seventh.

Gary Paffett (2009 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) fourth: "We had expected to fight for victory, but our speed today was just not good enough. A better result than fourth was not possible. It was a tough fight with Ekstrom towards the end, as his tyres were newer than mine and I was glad to hold him off."

Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) fifth: "I improved from eighth on the grid to fifth which is ok; more was not possible today. We had a good strategy and I had a free track most of the time; and I thank my team for this."

Paul Di Resta (2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class) seventh: "I started well but Timo Scheider started even better, so I lost one place. We had problems with the balance of the car and therefore my speed was not quite as good as that of the two leaders and I eventually dropped to seventh place."

Maro Engel (2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) 10th: "I started well and improved from 10th to ninth; however, during my second pit stop I lost time and one position."

Mathias Lauda (2008 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) 11th: "I am quite happy with my race. I started 14th and moved up to 11th by own means. My C-Class ran faultlessly and I managed to hold of Mike Rockenfeller although he was a bit faster than me."

Ralf Schumacher (2009 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) 13th: "My race was quite ok, but when you start from the back of the grid it's hard to move up. Every time I was racing in clean air my pace was good and therefore I am still satisfied. I thank my team for the quick engine change between warm-up and race."

Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th: "Following a good start I was hit at the right rear end and lost a couple of positions at the first corner. When I resumed after my first pit stop I was faster than Markus Winkelhock in front of me; when passing him, our cars touched and I think this was not unfair. However, the penalty cost me too much time to finish in the top ten."

Susie Stoddart (2008 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 15th: "A disappointing race. My attack against Katherine Legge was hard but a racing accident and I considered the drive-through penalty too severe."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Certainly not our best race; there was nothing to win for us here today. Although we are tied 4 to 4 on victories, the championship battle is over. Nevertheless we want to deliver two good races and to enthuse the spectators as we did today with the fight between fourth to sixth place. Then we want to be fast enough that this fight can take place between first to third place."

-credit: m-b

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Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Katherine Legge , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Mike Rockenfeller , Markus Winkelhock , Mathias Lauda , Maro Engel , Jamie Green