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Mercedes look to extend their lead at Moscow Raceway

Photo: Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz are looking ahead to building on their current lead in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) this weekend at Moscow Raceway, having inherited the lead in the constructors’ championship from Audi Sport.

The 3.931km track, which the DTM has used since last season, is one that poses a challenge from a technical standpoint, according to 2005 champion Gary Paffett, when it comes to past results there.

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“It’s one we haven’t been very successful on in the past,” explained the Brit, who is closing in on the top five in the drivers’ standings, which includes fellow countryman, Jamie Green.

Paffett is looking for more success in the second half of the season, as well as complimenting ART Grand Prix on “doing a good job” in their first season in the series.

“But the pace of the Mercedes, and especially my car, over recent weekends has been very strong and very encouraging. So we are certainly going to Moscow looking to have another strong performance, and I will try to get near the front of the field.”

One driver among some of the Stuttgart ranks that is hoping for a turnaround at the track, which is just 80 kilometres north-west of the Russian Capital, is Spain’s Daniel Juncadella.

The Mücke Motorsport driver has scored four top ten finishes this eason, but he is looking to deliver top performances this weekend.

“Things haven’t gone well for me in Moscow these last two years, but I’m confident that will change this weekend,” said the 24-year-old.

Pascal Wehrlein, who is third in the drivers’ standings, is concentrating on the next phase of his title charge, that could well put him in the picture for becoming the series’ youngest ever champion.

“I’m really pleased to be getting back into the car at last after the summer holidays. My current position in the championship is very promising,” said the 20-year-old, who currently serves as the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 test and reserve driver.

“That increases the anticipation going into the second half of the season all the more, of course. I’ve come to terms with what happened at Spielberg and hope that I can convert the negative experiences into positive energy for the next few races.”

Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM, Ulrich Fritz, is hopeful of the team having some good results this weekend, as Russia marks the end of the “flyaway” races for the series, which will head back to home soil in a fortnight’s time.

“We hope that we will also give a good account of ourselves in Russia, just as we have done in the last few races. When you’ve been leading the driver and team standings up to the halfway mark in the season, it’s obviously the intention to keep the championship open for as long as possible.”



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