After the 13th race of the 2018 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season, Paul Di Resta could very much have a chance of leading the drivers’ standings after race two at Misano later on today, as the Scot is just one point behind Gary Paffett after a dramatic first race.
Paffett retired on lap seven, after contact with Stuttgart stablemate Edoardo Mortara broke the steering on the left side of his Mercedes, with Di Resta able to control proceedings thereafter.
“You couldn’t have hoped for better, in terms of the championship. Of course, you want to do it on merit, and in qualifying today, we did that,” he said, having picked up the maximum score of 28 points for taking pole position and the win.
Even though heavy rain landed at the circuit, he felt well poised to be able to keep ahead of the rest of the competition, with some struggling to manage the slippery conditions, including the Monaco-based driver himself.
“Going from wet to dry, you’re the first reference,” explained the 32-year-old.
“My side of the grid wasn’t the best either, but I managed to get a reasonable start and make a good move round the outside of turn one, and from there controlled it.”
But Di Resta was very wise to the fact that Audi Sport were able to have better pace, and it could have seen Robin Frijns also have a shot at victory if there were a handful of laps more to go.
“These tyres are working in a small window, and you can see if you are in an optimum range like Audi were at the end, they were very strong.
“Tomorrow is another day – tricky conditions ahead again, expecting some rain and drying later on. We can never sleep, as back-to-back wins at this point for the championship was key.”
He also helped to pay tribute to former Mercedes comrade Robert Wickens, who left the outfit to move to Indycar after seven seasons in DTM, as the Stuttgart ranks are wearing the Canadian’s caps this weekend.
“He’s very much in our thoughts and was a strong member of our team. He’s got the hard battle at the moment and that’s where all our thoughts are.
“We’re here doing our job, what we all love, but the most important thing is that he’s back strong to racing, where he loves being.”