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‘Bad smash’ sees Mike Rockenfeller escape with minor injuries

Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller suffered from a fractured metatarsal after the accident in the second DTM race at the Norisring, which was caused by Mercedes’ Gary Paffett, who was uninjured, crashing before the first corner.

Paffett lost control of his AMG C-Coupé on the 34th lap of the race following minor contact with Audi’s Jamie Green, pitching the Mercedes driver heavily into the Armco on the inside of the circuit.

The crash, which occurred just before the braking zone for the Turn 1 hairpin, saw Paffett then bounce back off the barriers and into the side of Rockenfeller’s Audi, which was negotiating the first corner.

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Both drivers, who emerged from their cars unaided, were later taken to the Klinikum Süd hospital for checks, with Paffett emerging with only bruising. Rockenfeller has suffered from a minor fracture of the fifth metatarsal on his left foot.

“That was a bad smash, but I’m fine,” said Paffett. “I’m sorry that Rocky got hit and injured as a result. I hope he’ll get well soon.

“My special thanks go to all the medics – both at the racetrack and in the hospital. They took excellent care of me…”

Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Ulrich Fritz extended his support to Rockenfeller after the incident, which stopped the race for around half an hour.

“First of all, get well soon, Rocky,” added Fritz. “Hopefully he’ll be just fine again soon. We obviously don’t want to see anything like that in motor racing.

“Luckily, Gary is only bruised according to an initial examination.”

For his part in the incident, fellow Brit Green explained: “Gary tried to overtake me at the last corner on the previous lap, so we were sort of side-by-side coming onto the straight.

“I had the DRS open so I pulled slightly ahead, and going into Turn 1 I tried to defend to stay in front and I thought that was fine, I thought it was done, and then just as I was about to turn in he arrived backwards, out of control, and Rocky was turning in. Gary was a passenger at that point.

“We’ve seen before on this circuit that at Turn 1 that can happen, as it’s such a long straight and a tight corner.”

Watch: Gary Paffett and Mike Rockenfeller in big Norisring shunt

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