Dijon: Mercedes-Benz race report

Paul Di Resta, Bruno Spengler, Jamie Green, Ralf Schumacher § Gary Paffett at the wheel of the Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class won the 2009 DTM's ninth round at Dijon. After 52 laps (197.652 kms), the longest race in the championship's ...

Paul Di Resta, Bruno Spengler, Jamie Green, Ralf Schumacher

§ Gary Paffett at the wheel of the Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class won the 2009 DTM's ninth round at Dijon. After 52 laps (197.652 kms), the longest race in the championship's history, he improved from eighth on the grid to first at the chequered flag, followed by Mercedes-Benz team mates Paul Di Resta, Bruno Spengler, Jamie Green and Ralf Schumacher who achieved his best ever DTM result.

§ It is Gary's third win of the season and the 13th of his DTM career. In this year's ninth race, Mercedes-Benz Benz clinched the fifth victory, the 151st out of 319 races since 1988 (47.3 percent) and the 67th out of 108 races of the "new DTM" since 2000.

§ The championship decision was postponed to the season finale on 24th and 25th October 2009 at Hockenheim, because overall leader Timo Scheider (Audi) finished sixth today. After three wins so far, Gary reduced the gap behind Scheider from 14 to seven points and has now a total 49 points; Scheider leads with 56.

§ The team Salzgitter/Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG of Paffett and Spengler lead the team ranking with 88 points which is comparable to the Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship.

§ Mathias Lauda (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home eighth which made six out of the eight C-Class cars in the field finishing in the points; Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished in 12th place and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 14th.

§ A total of 26,000 spectators attended the 2009 DTM's ninth round at Dijon during the weekend.

The start: Pole sitter Bruno Spengler and Paul Di Resta, second in qualifying, lined up alongside on row one. Bruno won the sprint to the first corner and returned first from the opening lap, followed by Tom Kristensen, Paul Di Resta, Mattias Ekstrom, Jamie Green, Gary Paffett and Ralf Schumacher.

Lap 2: Gary Paffett overtook Jamie Green and was now fifth.

Lap 13: Gary Paffett and Maro Engel came in for their respective first pit stops.

Lap 15: The leading C-Class cars of Bruno Spengler and Paul Di Resta pitted.

Lap 16: Mathias Lauda came in for his first routine halt, followed by Jamie Green one lap later.

Lap 18: Ralf Schumacher completed his first mandatory stop; Susie Stoddart pitted one lap later.

Lap 21: Following the first round of pit stops, Gary Paffett was second, less than a second behind Mattias Ekstrom; Bruno Spengler followed in third place, Paul Di Resta was fifth.

Lap 26: Tom Kristensen and Paul Di Resta overtook Bruno Spengler; the Canadian was now fifth.

Lap 29: Second pit stop by Maro Engel; Bruno Spengler followed one lap later.

Lap 31: Gary Paffett pitted again from second place.

Lap 33: Ralf Schumacher completed his second pit stop.

Lap 34: Respective second stops by Paul Di Resta and Jamie Green.

Lap 35: Mathias Lauda and Susie Stoddart were the last C-Class drivers to pit.

Lap 39: All drivers had completed their respective two mandatory stops; Gary Paffett was again second, four tenths of a second behind Mattias Ekstrom.

Lap 47: Gary Paffett took the lead when Mattias Ekstrom had to pit due to a damaged tyre.

Finish (lap 52): Gary Paffett and his team mates Paul Di Resta, Bruno Spengler, Jamie Green and Ralf Schumacher achieved a quintuple victory for Mercedes-Benz.

Gary Paffett (2009 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) winner: "I am really happy and I thank my team for our great performance today. It was a tough and long race, but the fight with Mattias Ekstrom was always fun. It's great that I reduced the gap behind Timo Scheider from 14 to seven points. Hockenheim will be again an exciting race and even with the chances of an underdog I don't give up."

Paul Di Resta (2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class) second: "A great race for me and for the entire Mercedes-Benz team. The C-Class was perfect and we achieved the optimum result."

Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) third: "To start from pole and finish third is not the perfect result; however, my car suffered from oversteer and therefore I wasn't able to drive faster. Under these circumstances I am still happy with my third podium finish of the year. Congratulations to Gary on his victory -- we will now see an exciting showdown in Hockenheim."

Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) fourth: "A fantastic race for me. To finish fourth with a last year's car is a good result and the quintuple is a great achievement for Mercedes-Benz. I am proud to be part of it"

Ralf Schumacher (2009 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) fifth: "I am happy about my best DTM result and thank my team for their great job. My car ran perfectly throughout the weekend. It's great for Gary and everybody at Mercedes-Benz, that the championship will remain open until the final race at Hockenheim."

Mathias Lauda (2008 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) eighth: "I had four top-ten results this year and today I finally scored a point. I am satisfied, this was a super weekend for me."

Maro Engel (2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) 12th: "I started very well and was already third when I was pushed to the dirty side at the first corner; I went wide and lost several positions. Due to this incident, I unfortunately missed the optimum balance and the speed I had in yesterday's qualifying. In the end, points were possible but when we fought for positions, Alexandre Premat hit me and I lost some places."

Susie Stoddart (2008 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th: "I had a good speed; however, Katherine Legge blocked me for three laps although she was already one lap behind. That ruined my race; what a shame."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "What a race and what a victory. Here in Dijon our C-Class was the "tyre whisperer" and this was the reason for Gary's race win and the quintuple victory for Mercedes-Benz. Gary won the third time this year and the C-Class for the fifth time in nine races. We now look forward to an exciting finale at Hockenheim in two weeks time; for the third consecutive time the championship will be decided there. With a gap of seven points and an extra weight of 10 kilograms after today's win, the odds for Gary are not the best, but a chance is there at least for the spectators in Hockenheim and the TV viewers."

-credit: m-b

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Tom Kristensen , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Katherine Legge , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Alexandre Prémat , Mathias Lauda , Maro Engel , Jamie Green