Mercedes-Benz’s Gary Paffett scored his first DTM win of the season on Sunday at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, beating Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller to the win by 6.8 seconds.
Paffett took the lead at the start of the race from poleman Christian Vietoris and led for the majority of the distance. It is the Brit’s 20th victory in German touring cars and his first since May 2012.
“It was great, yesterday was fantastic obviously,” said Paffett after his win. “But with the new rules – the different tyres and the DRS, nothing is ever finished until the end of the race. It was really close in the middle when Rocky was right behind me after my first stop. But our speed, especially on the standard tyre, was incredible and at the end I managed to pull away fairly easily.
“The performance of the car this weekend has been incredible. It’s been really tough so the guys can breathe a real sigh of relief – we’ve got a win and we’re going forwards. It’s a real kick-start to the season in race four.”
Rockenfeller finished in second, having been unable to take the fight to Paffett in the closing ten laps of the race after his final pitstop. The German is now level on points with Bruno Spengler in the championship, after a difficult weekend for BMW.
Vietoris finished third, clawing his way back onto the podium late in the race with a pass on team-mate Robert Wickens, who finished in fourth.
Jamie Green finished in fifth for Audi, having never had the outright pace to challenge fellow Brit Paffett for the lead around the twisty Lausitzring.
Scoring his best result in the DTM to-date was Spaniard Daniel Juncadella in sixth, with the Mercedes rookie putting in a strong raceday performance after starting in 13th.
Joint points leader after Spengler was seventh, despite a final lap challenge from Audi’s Mattias Ekström that saw the experienced pair in a drag-race to the finishing line. Spengler prevailed, but by a mere 0.029 seconds.
Edoardo Mortara and Roberto Merhi completed the top ten, with Italian Mortara claiming his first points of the season for Team Rosberg.
BMw’s poor performance in practice and qualifying continued on raceday, as only Spengler was able to finish inside the top ten. In a race which saw no retirements, BMW drivers occupied seven of the bottom ten positions.
Thanks to his podium finish Rockenfeller moves into joint first in the championship with Spengler on 59 points, whilst Paffett’s win elevates him to third with 47 points.