London, UK – Monday 20th June 2011
DTM driver Gary Paffett clinched a solid fourth place finish at the Lausitzring in Germany this weekend for round four of the 2011 DTM Championship. Following yet another closely contested qualifying session, Paffett lined his THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class up on the grid in P5, having missed out on Q4 of the qualifying session by just 0.079 seconds.
The two-time Lausitz winner made a great start and overtook Ekström before turn one. Paffett was running up alongside third placed driver Tomczyk but was pushed wide going into the corner and was forced to pull back in line in fourth position. With Tomczyk having overtaken Green for third position, Paffett’s focus was now on fourth placed Green. Posting quicker lap times than Green, Paffett’s team made the call to bring Paffett in for an early pit stop on lap 13.
Taking advantage of the clean air, Paffett put in some flying laps after his pit stop and was able to leapfrog Green for P3. With Scheider clearly on a different strategy, Paffett was instructed by the team over the radio to push hard and continue to put in flying laps in order to maintain third position.
By lap 22 Paffett was closing in steadily on second placed Spengler and had got the gap down to 0.6 seconds. Eight laps later Paffett pitted for his second stop of the afternoon and rejoined in the track in P7. However, Scheider’s late pit stop strategy unfortunately paid off and meant he was able to leapfrog Paffett for P3 after the second rounds of pit stops. Paffett spent the next 14 laps pushing hard to close the gap to third placed Spengler, but after a few laps on the new tyres he was struggling with a bit of rear end stability which meant he wasn’t able to catch Spengler.
We lacked the pace in the race to be fighting at the top
Paffett crossed the line after 52 laps of racing in fourth position; picking up five Championship points. “I’m pleased to be taking away a further five Championship points but disappointed not to have finished higher up the standings. We were very quick in qualifying and also in this morning’s practice but we lacked the pace in the race to be fighting at the top.
It’s clear that even the tiniest change in track conditions can have a huge affect on lap times and with everyone’s pace so close this year, it can have a big impact on race results too;” commented Gary Paffett.Gary Paffett heads to the Norisring, Germany for round five of the DTM Championship on July 7th. Gary is currently ninth in the Championship with nine Championship points.
-source: Gary Paffett website