Circuit Park Zandvoort
UNDERSTEER ISSUES RESULT IN DIFFICULT DTM WEEKEND FOR PAFFETT IN ZANDVOORT
London, UK – Sunday 15th May 2011
British DTM driver Gary Paffett endured a difficult race weekend in the second round of the 2011 DTM Championship in Zandvoort.
After a closely fought qualifying session in which Paffett narrowly missed out on Q4, he lined his THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class up on the grid in P5 for Sunday’s race.
Paffett made a clean start, but a number of the cars in front of him were slow off the line, so Scheider was able to squeeze past him heading into turn one and snatch P5. Paffett then spend the next few laps battling against Schumacher to maintain sixth position and succeeded in holding him off.
Lap 11 saw the start of the first round of pit stops. The team made the strategic call to kept Paffett out as late as possible and so by the time he was brought in for a late pit stop on lap 14 he was running in P2 but was struggling for pace. Mortara, however, was able to stay out even later and jumped Paffett in the pits for position.
By lap 16 Paffett was running in P8 and suffering badly from understeer which was getting progressively worse and making it hard to defend his position. Paffett took his second pit stop on lap 20 and came out behind van der Zande in P11. Once everyone had taken their second stop, Paffett was running in P9 having lost a place in the second rounds of pit stops.
Lying in P9, Paffett was now behind Ekstrom and ahead of Jarvis. With the understeer showing no signs of improving, Paffett spent the closing stages of the race defending against Jarvis and crossed the finish line in ninth place.
In this morning’s warm up session I struggled with understeer
"I am very disappointed with today’s race as I was hoping to be able to come away with some solid Championship points after qualifying in P5. In this morning’s warm up session I struggled with understeer and the balance of the car and unfortunately we weren’t able to correct it in time for the race. I pushed as hard as I could but I couldn’t defend my position and dropped back to P9;” commented Paffett.
“Now we look ahead to the next race at Spielberg where we will be fighting hard for a good result so that we can begin to climb back up the Championship standings. It’s a long season and there’s still all to play for so I’m looking forward to the next round of the Championship;” continued Paffett. Gary Paffett heads to Spielberg, Austria for round three of the DTM Championship on June 5th. Gary is currently eighth in the Championship with three Championship points.
Source: Gary Paffett