A solid points-scoring weekend for 2005 DTM champion Gary Paffett ended with a visit to the podium, after a race that felt like a ‘rollercoaster ride’, as the Briton described it himself.
Having put his Mercedes AMG C63 Coupé into seventh on the grid, the DTM veteran mastered the start, gaining four positions in a matter of two corners, before a crash in the midfield called for the safety car to come out.
The eventual restart went well for the 36-year old, but the run down to the hairpin saw Paffett making a slight mistake, causing the Englishman to catch a bit of air on the grass. Luckily his Mercedes-Benz did not suffer any major damage and Paffett was good to continue – albeit being back down in eighth place.
“Today’s race was like a rollercoaster ride. After the restart, I was in fourth place. I got away pretty well, but on Turn 4, I went onto the grass and dropped down the field. After that, I thought it would be difficult to get into the points.
“But we made a perfect decision on the pit stop and switched to wets at just the right moment. The car was then really fast. I overtook Marco and went hunting for Jamie.”
Paffett’s efforts to take the win away from his countryman fell flat though, as time was working against him.
“The first time I saw the board at the pit wall, he was 16 seconds ahead of me, but by the end of the race, this was down to just four.
“You must never give up and always fight to the end. All in all, it was an incredible start to the season for the DTM: in both races, all three manufacturers were on the podium, and each time it was three different drivers.”
Bagging 26 points over the course of the weekend puts the 2005 DTM champion in third overall, tied with race two winner Jamie Green.