DTM

Norisring: Mercedes race report

Third Win of the Season and Championship Lead for Gary Paffett Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) won the sixth round of the 2005 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring and took the championship lead after his third victory of the season.

Third Win of the Season and Championship Lead for Gary Paffett

Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) won the sixth round of the 2005 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring and took the championship lead after his third victory of the season. Paffett won ahead of Audi drivers Christian Abt and Mattias Ekström. Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) was third but was pushed into a spin, received a drive-through penalty later and came home tenth.

Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes) and Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes) retired after an accident. Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) stopped due to a drive problem which is still to be investigated. Paffett leads the championship with 44 points ahead of Ekström with 41.

Starting second on the grid, nine thousandths of a second behind pole, Paffett took the lead before the Grundig hairpin and was first after the opening lap ahead of Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM). Alesi improved from fourth to second and Häkkinen moved up from seventh on the grid to fourth.

On the sixth lap, Green tried to pass Ekström at the Dutzendteich hairpin. He touched Häkkinen who was right in front of them. The Finn had to retire from fourth place whilst Green made it to the pits where he also retired.

The Safety Car was deployed and most of the drivers came in for their first compulsory pit stop. However, Paffett and Kristensen had already passed the pit entry and continued their battle for the lead. When the race was neutralised again on lap 30, both pitted at the same time.

Paffett came in for his second stop one lap later and resumed in tenth place. After the race was re-started on lap 38, he improved to second within 11 laps. After Kristensen's second stop on lap 60, Paffett took the lead and maintained it until the chequered flag.

Schneider had qualified tenth and was fifth on lap 58 when he passed Ekström to take fourth. However, just half a lap later he was pushed into a spin by Bruno Spengler and dropped to sixth. When he charged through the field, he had a collision with Alexandros Margaritis and received a drive-through penalty. He ended up tenth. Alesi lost power on lap 23 and retired from third place.

Gary Paffett, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes, winner:

"An incredible race. I started really well, but after the first Safety Car period I didn't know where I was in the ranking. With the double pit stop our team did a great job and I was able to regain the lead. I'm very happy about my third win of the season and the championship lead."

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, 10th:

"Today everything went well and nothing could stop me, neither the wall nor my competitors. Unfortunately I was pushed into a spin by Bruno so that the third place was gone."

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, retired:

"The drive problem cost me valuable points today. The car performed very well and starting fourth a podium finish would have been possible: I'm sorry for my team which had worked very hard."

Jamie Green, Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes, retired:

"When I braked for the hairpin, the car started sliding and I wasn't able to control it. Therefore I hit Mika and also touched Ekström. I'm very sorry for the retirement and will apologize to both."

Mika Häkkinen, Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes, retired:

"This was very disappointing. My start was great and the car worked perfectly. However, after Jamie had hit me my race was over. He will explain to me, how that could happen."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Congratulations to Gary Paffett and the HWA team with Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jürgen Mattheis. After the first Safety Car period we had a handicap because Gary had already passed the pit lane entry. However, with the double pit stop the team set the basis for today's victory."

"Gary achieved his third win of the season with an excellent performance. The three brands were all capable of winning today and the crowd of 143,000 at the circuit saw great sport today. Mika and Bernd could have finished on the podium, however, the accidents prevented that."

-mercedes-

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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Bernd Schneider , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Alexandros Margaritis , Jamie Green