Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) won his home race, the third race of the DTM 2012 season at Brands Hatch, from pole position. His lead over Bruno Spengler (BMW) was five seconds.
It was Paffett’s 19th win in the DTM and his first at this track. It was the Brit’s 28th podium finish in 84 races in the DTM. With his 19 victories and a win rate of 23%, Paffett is the most successful of the current set of drivers taking part in the DTM. After the opening win in Hockenheim, it was Paffett’s second victory in the third race of the new DTM era in the THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.
This was Mercedes’ fourth win out of seven races at Brands Hatch. It was also the eighth win for a Mercedes driver in a DTM race in England. There have been 19 DTM races in England since 1991 (in Donington, Silverstone and Brands Hatch). Mercedes-Benz have won a total of 167 races since they started participating in the DTM in 1988.
His second win of the season enabled Paffett to increase his lead in the DTM drivers’ championship to 68 points. He currently has a 25 point advantage over his second place rival Bruno Spengler (BMW). The THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG team leads the team championship with 88 points. The manufacturers’ championship is headed by Mercedes-Benz with 133 points, followed by Audi (86 points) and BMW (84 points).
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) and Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) were in the points with finishes in 6th and 8th place respectively. Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) came in 14th, 15th, 17th and 19th place. Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) had to retire early.
The start: Gary Paffett defends his lead at the start from Bruno Spengler (BMW). Robert Wickens moves up four places on the first lap. Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard both go up by two positions on this first lap. Susie Wolff gains three places.
Lap 10: Paffett leads by one second.
Lap 15: Schumacher overtakes Roberto Merhi and moves into 15th position.
Lap 24: The pit stop window is now open. Christian Vietoris comes in for his first mandatory stop.
Lap 27: Schumacher pits for first time.
Lap 39: Wickens and Merhi come in for the first time. Vietoris pits for second time.
Lap 40: Paffett makes his first mandatory stop from lead position.
Lap 43: Coulthard pits for first set of fresh tyres.
Lap 47: Jamie Green pits for first time from lead position.
Lap 53: Paffett leads by two and a half seconds. Schumacher comes in for second mandatory pit stop.
Lap 55: Second set of fresh tyres for Merhi.
Lap 57: Schumacher given drive-through penalty. Second pit stop for Wolff.
Lap 62: Final mandatory pit stop for Paffett, who still leads.
Lap 63: Coulthard comes in for his second pit stop.
Lap 81: Wolff ends race before finish.
Lap 84: Paffett extends his lead to 3.5 seconds.
Lap 86 : Green overtakes Filipe Albuquerque (Audi).
Lap 94: Green overtakes Edoardo Mortara (Audi) and moves into eighth position.
Final lap (98): Gary Paffett wins third DTM race of the season at Brands Hatch after 98 laps and a total distance of 189.042 kilometres. Christian Vietoris is sixth.
Comments after the race:
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Winner:
„It’s a great feeling to win my home race. I’ve now finally secured my first DTM victory at this track. The team and my THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé were simply terrific – it was a perfect race that we controlled from start to finish. Still, it was not easy, as Bruno Spengler kept piling on the pressure but we stayed in front. Three races, two wins and one second place – let’s hope this season continues just as it began.“
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), Sixth:
„I didn’t get a very good start off the first row unfortunately. That caused me to drop back a few places at the start of the race. From then on I found it difficult to move up the field but I eventually did manage to gain a few places on the others and collect some important points with sixth place.“
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Eighth:
„Eighth place is not quite the result that I had counted on. Unfortunately, I lost a little time just before coming in for my first pit stop. After that, my Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was very quick, but overtaking is very difficult on this track. Nevertheless, I got the drop on both Filipe Albuquerque and Edoardo Mortara and went up two places as a result.“
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 14th:
„All in all, I’m happy with my third DTM race. My pace was quite decent and my stern AMG Mercedes C-Coupé ran very well. I’m getting better from race to race and gaining experience through working with the team.“
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 15th:
„I really would have liked to have secured a better result for all the British fans at Brands Hatch, but unfortunately, 15th place was all that was possible today. At the start, I muscled my way up the field a bit, but my car sustained some minor damage on the first lap. I’m now focusing on the next race at Spielberg.“
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 17th:
„Unfortunately, my start did not go according to plan. Still, I did quite well on the first two stints, although I struggled a bit on the final stint. Of course, I had intended doing better than 17th place before the race, but so far, I’m happy with progress as I learn the ropes in the DTM.“
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 19th:
„My race went quite well all things considered, but I didn’t move up the field by as many positions as I had intended. Now we have to analyse the data from this weekend and draw our conclusions for the next race.“
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), retired:
„The start of my home race in Britain went really well and resulted in me moving up a number of positions to join the battle in the tightly bunched mid-field. Unfortunately, I had to retire just before the end of the race and so was unable to secure a decent result for my fans, but nevertheless, I hope they enjoyed this exciting race and Gary’s win.“
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„A perfect weekend for Gary with great performances yesterday and today. His pole and the way he achieved it were simply breathtaking and formed the springboard for this victory: where previously, there had been eight competing drivers all within one and a half tenths of a second, Gary put that gap between himself and his team-mate Christian Vietoris.
And then a day later, Gary controlled the race from start to finish over 98 laps. He was clearly the boss here at Brands and thoroughly deserves his 68 points in the championship after securing two wins and a second place: Gary Paffett is Gary Perfect.”
Source: Mercedes AMG