DTM

Paffett replaces Huisman at Mercedes

Gary Paffett to Drive AMG-Mercedes CLK at the Nürburgring Englishman Gary Paffett will compete in the 2003 DTM with a AMG-Mercedes CLK from the championship's third round at the Nürburgring this weekend, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport announced...

Gary Paffett to Drive AMG-Mercedes CLK at the Nürburgring

Englishman Gary Paffett will compete in the 2003 DTM with a AMG-Mercedes CLK from the championship's third round at the Nürburgring this weekend, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport announced today. Thus they will continue their programme to promote young and talented drivers. 22-year-old Paffett will again race for Keke Rosberg's Service 24h AMG-Mercedes team. Together they won already the 2002 German Formula 3 Championship.

Paffett has a long relation to Mercedes-Benz and McLaren. In 1996, he was promoted by the Champions of the Future kart racing programme for young talents, which had been launched by McLaren and Mercedes-Benz. In 1999, he won the "Young Driver of the Year" award which had been established by McLaren, Autosport magazine and the British Racing Driver Club BRDC.

As his prize, Gary received a £50,000 cheque and a test in a West McLaren Mercedes Formula One car. He carried out more Formula One tests for the team in 2002 at Barcelona and in 2003 at Valencia. At the end of the 2001 season, he gained first experience with a DTM car when he tested the AMG-Mercedes CLK at Hockenheim and impressed the team.

Paffett had started his career in 1991 with kart racing at the age of ten. In 1997, he won the Formula Vauxhall Junior Newcomers' Championship and one year later, he clinched the Vauxhall Junior Championship title. In 1999, he won the Formula Vauxhall Championship.

After a year in the British Formula 3 Championship, when he won the Scholarship class, he came to Germany and finished sixth overall in the German Formula 3 Championship, driving for the Rosberg team. Last year, Paffett won the Championship with seven wins out of 17 races, starting from pole position six times.

In the former Formula One World Champion's DTM team, Gary Paffett takes over from Patrick Huisman. The Dutchman replaced for two races Christijan Albers, who changed to the AMG team and won the second round of the 2003 DTM at the Adria Raceway ten days ago. Huisman will again concentrate on his engagement in the Porsche Supercup.

"I know the DTM very well. I was able to watch it as Formula 3 and DTM are being run in the same events. For me, the DTM is the best touring car series in the world," Paffett said, but he is careful about his expectations. "My team mate Stefan Mücke is a very good driver, we raced against each other in Formula 3. My target is to perform as well as he does and I hope I can make a good impression."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, commented: "We have watched Gary's career carefully. He has proved his talent by winning last year's German Formula 3 Championship. We will now further promote him in the DTM. He will certainly be a valuable addition to our driver line-up."

-mercedes-

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Series DTM
Drivers Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Patrick Huisman , Keke Rosberg , Gary Paffett , Stefan Mücke