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Di Resta returns to DTM for 2014

Photo by Daimler AGMercedes-Benz have announced that former Force India Formula One driver and 2010 DTM champion Paul Di Resta will return to the team for the 2014 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season.

Di Resta, who has an enviable 50% podium success rate in the DTM, switched to F1 for 2011 on the back of winning the 2010 title for Mercedes.

The announcement means that Mercedes will field two Brits who are also former champions, with long-time DTM stalwart Gary Paffett also continuing with the marque.

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“It feels really good to be back in the DTM and to see so many familiar faces again,” said Di Resta. “The DTM is a fantastic racing series with three strong premium brands, a very competitive field and a very evenly matched bunch of drivers. I’m really looking forward to working with the whole Mercedes-Benz DTM team and being part of another championship challenge.”

Since Di Resta last raced in the German series there has been significant change in the regulations, with the DTM ushering in new technical and sporting regulations for the 2012 season. Di Resta admits that he hopes to get up to speed with the new cars without hesitation.

“Much has changed since my last DTM race in Shanghai in 2010 with new cars, a new set of rules and a third manufacturer, but what has not changed is my enormous appetite for success,” added the Scot. “Mercedes-Benz has given me a car that I can use to fight for wins and the title. However, I realise that it will not be easy.

“My competitors already have two years of experience with the new generation of vehicles, but, starting with today’s first test, I’ll be going flat out in order to be capable of winning at the Hockenheim season opener in early May.”

Mercedes-Benz Head of Motorsport Toto Wolff is delighted to welcome Di Resta back to the DTM, continuing the 27-year-old’s eight-year association with the manufacturer.

“Paul Di Resta has been a member of the Mercedes-Benz family for many years, and we are delighted that he is returning to the fold this season to further strengthen our DTM squad,” said Wolff. “Paul has learned a lot during the past few years in Formula 1, and, together with Gary Paffett we now have two experienced drivers in our team who have already won the DTM title.”

The announcement of Di Resta’s return to the series means there will be seven former champions on the grid in 2014, with every champion since 2007 represented. The current and former champions are Mike Rockenfeller, Bruno Spengler, Martin Tomczyk, Di Resta himself, Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekström and Gary Paffett.

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