Gary Paffett scores second win of the year Christijan Albers started from his first DTM pole position, but was passed by Mattias EkstrÃ¶m when they headed for the first corner. Behind them, Paffett, seventh on the grid, and Jean Alesi who...
Gary Paffett scores second win of the year
Christijan Albers started from his first DTM pole position, but was passed by Mattias Ekström when they headed for the first corner. Behind them, Paffett, seventh on the grid, and Jean Alesi who started third had a coming together. After the opening lap, Albers was second ahead of Paffett and Bernd Schneider, Alesi followed in sixth place.
On the second lap, Albers had a short off at the second corner losing second place to Paffett. On lap 5, Alesi passed Manuel Reuter (Opel Vectra GTS V8) to take fifth place. Paffett and Albers made their first pit stops on lap 6, followed by Schneider one lap later and Alesi on lap 8. After this first round of pit stops Ekström led ahead of a charging Paffett.
The Englishman pitted for the second time on lap 14 and was again second behind Ekström. On lap 21, Paffett passed the Audi at the end of the front straight and immediately opened a gap. Schneider and Alesi made their second pit stops on lap 22 with Albers pitting for the second time on lap 23. Afterwards, the Dutchman was third and closed the gap behind Ekström continuously setting lap times more than half a second faster than the Swede.
Albers attacked Ekström several times, however, the Audi driver maintained his position. Schneider also caught up, but the order did not change. Paffett won ahead of Ekström, Albers and Schneider. All four were within 2.3sec at the finish line. Alesi came home sixth.
Gary Paffett, C-Klasse AMG-Mercedes:
"I'm really happy about my second win of the year. After my second pit stop I was faster than Ekström and when I had passed him I opened a gap. Therefore I was able to save my tyres in the end and secure victory."
Christijan Albers, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes:
"My speedlimiter didn't work, so I had to be very careful during my pit stops not to drive too fast. The battle with Ekström was hard but OK. I'm happy that I'm still one of the overall leaders."
Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes:
"My third set of tyres was the best, therefore I was able to catch up during the closing stages. Unfortunately, overtaking was not possible and I had to be content with fourth place."
Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes:
"I made a poor start and got stuck behind Manuel Reuter's Opel. When I finally managed to pass him, the leaders were already to far away."
Markus Winkelhock, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes made a good start avoiding all incidents and was seventh after the first round. On lap 8 he was pushed into a spin by Peter Dumbreck (Opel Vectra GTS V8) and finally came home 14th. Jarek Janis, Sonax Dark Dog AMG-Mercedes finished 16th.Bernd Mayländer, CLK AMG-Mercedes and Stefan Mücke, CLK AMG-Mercedes were involved in an incident right after the start. Both ran off at the first corner. Mayländer retired with a broken suspension at the right rear. Mücke came into the pits on lap 13 due to misfire caused by an electronic failure which ended his day.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"This was an exciting race with thrilling overtaking manoeuvres. Congratulations to Gary on winning from seventh on the grid. Christijan, Bernd and Jean also performed well. Four C-Classes among the top six demonstrate a well-balanced team performance. The DTM's competitiveness in the first four races is proved by the fact that Christijan and Mattias Ekström being tied for the overall lead. Today's event was great entertainment for the enthusiastic crowd here as well as for the TV spectators at home."