The DTM heads to Nürburgring this weekend to start the second half of the 2012 season. Gary Paffett has done an outstanding first couple of races ahead head the points table in a strong lead on 95 points compared to team mate Jamie Green in second on 69 points.
“The first half of the season was nearly perfect from my perspective: two wins, two podiums and a P4 finish after starting from last on the grid. I’ll be delighted if the second half continues in the same vein. I’ve already won one DTM race at the Nürburgring, and in recent years, I’ve had some very good results on this challenging circuit,” said Paffett.
Closest to the Mercedes duo is former Mercedes driver and current BMW Team Schnitzer driver in the form of Bruno Spengler. The Canadian is third in the championship on 58 points and says that he is confident ahead of the race at Nürburgring.
“Just thinking about the race at the Nürburgring is enough to make my spine tingle. The circuit has a long motorsport tradition – and you can sense that as a driver. The Nürburgring is one of my very favourite tracks. It has a very nice combination of fast and slow corners. I have already won twice in the Eifel Mountains, in glorious sunshine and pouring rain. We are entering new territory there with the BMW Bank M3 DTM. Despite this, I am very confident,” said Spengler.
Best Audi challenger is Mattias Ekström down in fifth position. The Swede retired the last race at Norisring, but came back in the non-championship round at Munich with a victory. Ekström’s goal for this weekend it to gain the lost points on the rivals ahead of him in the championship.
“The Nürburgring was a very good weekend for me last year. I clinched the pole position and won the race. I like the track. It’s important to achieve a good result at the first race of the second half of the season and to make up a few points to the colleagues in front of us. As always, I’ll be doing my best,” said Ekström.
While both Audi and BMW drivers are aiming for victory, the stats points towards Mercedes with impressive victory statistics of 49.1% at Nürburgring. The season so far has by far pointed in the direction of Mercedes, currently holding the lead of all three championships, including drivers’, team and manufacturers’.
The race weekend starts with testing tomorrow, qualifying on Saturday and the race starting at 14.00 CET.