Mercedes driver Gary Paffett has pulled away in the DTM championship lead after a stunning start to the season with two victories and four out of four podium finishes.
“I am very pleased with my four podium finishes in the first four races of 2012 – a first-class start to the season,” said Paffett.
The most recent race at Red Bull Ring Spielberg saw Gary Paffett extending the championship lead despite not being completely pleased with the result.
“The race was really exciting – of course, my final position could have been better, but that’s racing. I have extended my lead in the championship and that’s what counts,” said Paffett.
The Brit finished third after a hard scrap with Edoardo Mortara and Martin Tomczyk. The scrap between him and Mortara saw Paffett going off track briefly, gathering grass in the radiator and hampering his speed.
“His attack today for first place after his second pit stop – both of which were the fastest in the whole field – ended on the grass after front-runner Mortara stoutly defended his lead and Gary ran out of road. The grass even got in the radiator Then, with engine and brake temperatures rising, Gary had to nurse his C-Coupé as far as possible. Any thoughts of attacks on the man in front had to be forgotten since defending pursuers from behind was now required,” said Norbert Haug, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.
Paffett heads the championship on 83 points, not far from double the points to his closest rival in the form of Audi’s Mattias Ekström on 47 points.
“Gary Paffett has had a real chance of winning all four DTM races this season – Gary has actually won twice, finished second once and third once. With this third place, Gary has boosted his championship lead from 25 to 36 points and Mercedes AMG remains in front in all three championships,” said Haug.