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Mercedes’ Brits excited for home race

Four of Mercedes-Benz’s eight drivers will be taking part in their home race at Brands Hatch this weekend, as the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters makes its annual visit to the British Isles.

For Gary Paffett and Jamie Green it will be important to remain on top form on home soil this weekend, with the two British drivers currently leading the driver’s championship in first and second respectively.

McLaren-Mercedes test driver Paffett is hoping to continue his strong from so far in 2012 that has seen him finish first and second in the opening two races of the season.

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“It’s great to be returning to Brands Hatch for my home race and to be showcasing DTM racing for the British fans,” said Paffett. “In the early stage of my career, I used to compete at Brands Hatch three or four times a year, so I have very fond memories of the circuit and the races there.

“The track is very demanding and represents a major challenge on the calendar,” continued Paffett. “A single lap is very short, but we complete almost 100 of them, so it’s a tiring weekend. I aim to send the British fans home satisfied with a result that matches the first two races of the season.”

Green explains that it is important to remain focussed for the entire duration of the 98-lap race at Brands Hatch, which sees the race take just over an hour to complete. Green’s best result at the Kent circuit is a single second-placed finish back in 2006.

“It’s easy to get the wrong impression about Brands Hatch; it may be short, but it’s also extremely tricky,” explained Green. “In the race, we need to stay fully focused for all 98 laps – you can’t afford to slacken off for a second. Last year, I was very quick in the dry and I also posted the fastest time in Q3. I’d like a repeat of that this year and to continue the good run of results so far in 2012. Although Brands Hatch is my home race, I only drove there a couple of times before joining the Mercedes-Benz DTM line-up. That just increases my resolve to fight for the win on Sunday.”

Former Formula One driver David Coulthard is also not particularly familiar with the Brands Hatch circuit, as the venue was not featured on the R1 calendar during his long career. Nevertheless the Scot is hoping to build on the two 12th placed finishes that he has claimed at the circuit since his début in the DTM in 2010.

“Between 1991 and 2010, I didn’t drive a single race at Brands Hatch, so it’s all the more gratifying to pay this annual visit with the DTM and to experience the excitement generated by the British racing fans,” said Coulthard. “Brands Hatch is an unusual and difficult track that is very unforgiving if you make a mistake. Early on in my career, I won two Formula 3 races there, plus I finished third in the Formula Ford Festival. So I have a pretty good track record at Brands Hatch, and now I’m aiming to score a good result in the DTM as well.”

Susie Wolff also comes from Scotland and therefore Brands is her ‘home’ race. Her best result at the short circuit is a 13th placed finish in 2009. The 29 year-old could only finish 21st last time out at the Laustizring, after struggling for pace throughout the weekend.

“After two back-to back races at the start of the season, I’m looking forward to the third race weekend of 2012 at Brands Hatch,” said wolff. “The track is just eight hours from my native Scotland, but for me it still counts as a home race, which makes for an exciting weekend. There isn’t a big difference in lap times over such a short distance, and it’s not easy to overtake here. This means that qualifying plays a crucial role.”

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