Gary Paffett Second - Exciting Championship Battle Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) finished second in the ninth round of the 2005 DTM at the Lausitzring. For most of the race's 48 laps, Paffett trailed EkstrÃ¶m with less than...
Gary Paffett Second - Exciting Championship Battle
Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) finished second in the ninth round of the 2005 DTM at the Lausitzring. For most of the race's 48 laps, Paffett trailed Ekström with less than half a second; the Swede won with a margin of 0.4sec.
For the seventh time this season the championship lead changed. Now Ekström is in the lead with 69 points, Paffett is second with 68. For the fourth consecutive race the gap between both is only one point. A crowd of 67,000 attended the season's second DTM at the Lausitzring.
Starting from his first DTM pole position Jamie Green dropped to fourth behind Opel drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Manuel Reuter as well as Mattias Ekström (Audi). Paffett who had qualified seventh improved to fifth ahead of Mika Häkkinen.
At the beginning of lap five Paffett passed Green to take fourth position immediately behind Ekström. On lap six, both title contenders pitted simultaneously. At the end of the first round of pit stops Ekström held the lead ahead of Paffett with a gap of less than half a second.
The Englishman made his second pit stop on lap 24, one lap after Ekström. Paffett again resumed behind the Swede and charged him closely throughout the second half of the race but was not able to overtake.
Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) was sixth when he had a coming-together with Heinz-Harald Frentzen on lap 44. He received a drive-through penalty and therefore lost two places and ended up eighth. Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes), fourth in qualifying, and Christian Abt (Audi) touched on lap 14 and both cars spun. With a damaged car Mika came home 12th. Jamie Green had a brake problem. He was called to the pits by his team for safety reasons and retired.
Gary Paffett, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes, second:
"It was an incredibly tough and exciting race. I could have driven faster than Mattias Ekström; however, there was no opportunity to overtake. Of course I would have liked to win here, but starting seventh I'm satisfied with second place."
Bruno Spengler, Mercedes Second Hand Cars, sixth and best driver with a last year's car:
"After some understeer at the beginning my car ran perfectly in the end, and I was able to close the gap behind Jean Alesi. I'm happy about my three points, which my team really deserve."
Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, eighth:
"I wanted to pass Heinz-Harald Frentzen, but he braked earlier than on the previous lap, and when I tried to avoid him I came on the grass. Therefore I slid and touched his car. The drive-through penalty cost me two positions. It's a shame, because my car was good and my team deserved a better result."
Mika Häkkinen, Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes, 12th:
"I'm disappointed because starting fourth I had expected more. After Christian Abt had hit my car, something was wrong and I was not able to push anymore."
Jamie Green, Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes, retired:
"I had a brake problem and my team decided to call me to the pits. I'm frustrated because I wanted to do better from my first pole position."
Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, retired:
"I started well and made up some places. My lap times showed that I had chances. Then I hit some parts on the track from the incident between Mika Häkkinen and Christian Abt and damaged my left rear tyre. That was it."
Alexandros Margaritis, Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes ended up 14th. His team mate Stefan Mücke was hit by Marcel Fässler (Opel) on the first lap. On lap 16 he retired with a damaged right front suspension as a consequence of this collision.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"An exciting race and great and fair motor sport. The battle between Gary Paffett and Mattias Ekström was a very good performance by both. Although Gary had more speed, overtaking was not possible despite all the pressure he put on Ekström."
"The three manufacturers were in the first four positions within 4.7sec. The good performance by Opel with three cars among the top ten proves that the DTM concept works. We look forward to the upcoming race in Turkey with the 2005 DTM's penultimate round at a challenging race track."