Paffett triumphant, EkstrÃ¶m recaptures overall lead A sold-out Nuerburgring with a total 103,000 spectators over the racing weekend, action-packed duels and a new leader in the overall standings - those were the ingredients for one of the most...
Paffett triumphant, Ekström recaptures overall lead
A sold-out Nuerburgring with a total 103,000 spectators over the racing weekend, action-packed duels and a new leader in the overall standings - those were the ingredients for one of the most thrilling DTM races of the season.
Briton Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) clinched the sixth championship race on the Nuerburgring with a start-finish victory following his triumphs on the Norisring and at the exhibition race in Shanghai.
Second-placed Swede Mattias Ekström driving an Audi A4 DTM secured eight points in the championship standings, which he now heads in front of his fiercest rival Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz). The Dutchman drove for a long time in third place before he fell back into 12th following a thrilling duel with Marcel Fässler (Opel), after which he soon had to retire into the pits.
Mercedes-Benz driver Bernd Schneider took advantage of the situation, overtaking the two drivers on the inside to slot into third ahead of Fässler. The field of pursuers was also involved in heated battles throughout the course of the race. Ultimately, Tom Kristensen (Audi) came fifth in front of Timo Scheider (Opel), Jean Alesi (Mercedes-Benz) and Peter Dumbreck, who was the third Opel driver to make it into the points.
The seventh race of the DTM already takes place next weekend (August 6 - 8) in the Motopark Oschersleben. Mattias Ekström (47 points) leads the drivers' standings ahead of Christijan Albers (42 points) and Gary Paffett (35 points).
Gary Paffett (1st place, AMG-Mercedes C-class):
"I had an exceptionally fantastic weekend here. It's actually my fifth win of the season. Sadly two didn't count towards the championship. I had a good start today. We brought forward my second pit stop as Emanuele Pirro had held me back. But Emanuele was in the lead and that's just part of racing."
Mattias Ekström (2nd place, Audi A4 DTM):
"My start wasn't that great. I was a bit cautious going into the first turn, which allowed Peter Dumbreck to overtake me. But he then made a mistake after four turns and I was able to pass him again. I was just as fast as Gary. But he was at the front from the start and didn't make any mistakes. That's why he deserved to win. Congratulations. My aim for the weekend was the lead in the championship - and now I've got that. I'm happy."
Bernd Schneider (3rd place, AMG-Mercedes C-class):
"As expected, it was a very tough race. I was locked in a brilliant three-way tussle with Marcel and Christijan. Whilst the two were battling it out I seized my chance and was able to overtake them. I think the fans were privy to a fantastic spectacle. It's a pity that Christijan didn't win the race."
Marcel Fässler (4th place, Opel Vectra GTS V8):
"The race was pretty good. I was able to keep up with the pace from the start. The end was sadly not ideal. The duel with Christijan was fun, but it unfortunately cost me a place on the podium as Bernd took the opportunity to pass by. Nevertheless, I'm very pleased that I was finally able to be back at the front again, and it's also positive that we've again taken a further step forwards."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director:
"Gary Paffett drove a flawless race today. It wasn't always easy and unproblematic for him, but he gave his all. It is therefore a very valuable victory for him. What's particularly impressive is that Gary has only driven in 14 touring car races. I feel sorry for Christijan Albers. He already had problems with the set-up in qualifying. I hope these points won't be sorely missed in the final tally."
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi Motorsport Director:
"I'm satisfied with the race. We had five cars at a high level. But it's a fact that we already lost three cars in the first two turns. The team result is therefore not that great, but everyone pulled off a good performance. Mattias Ekström got the most out of the car and is now in the lead in the championship. We're therefore of course very satisfied."
Volker Strycek, Opel Sport Director:
"We've got four cars in the top ten and have scored our best result of the season. Things already went well on Friday, qualifying proved that, and in the race we had three cars involved in the battle for the lead. That was a good development over the weekend. I felt sorry for Peter Dumbreck that the car cut out at the first pit stop and he consequently lost his top placing."