Gary Paffett to drive his 150th DTM race at Lausitzring
Mercedes AMG driver Gary Paffett heads to the Lausitzring this weekend, reaching an important milestone with his 150th race in the series, as he is third in the standings after a strong performance at Hockenheim.
The Briton drove superbly in the second race ofed the season opener to recover from a first lap incident, falling to 17th place, to second at the chequered flag. “I am very proud of what I’ve achieved here, because you’re only around for as long as you’re putting in decent performances. That’s what I’ve managed to do. It’s hard work to be around for so long, because there are a lot of good drivers who would like to have your place and youngsters who are coming through from the junior classes. You have to work very hard to keep your place in the team” said the Team HWA driver
Paffett holds a joint record with DTM legend Bernd Schneider of three victories at the Lausitzring, which is a strong omen for the Briton: “The Lausitzring is a track where I’ve been good even when I wasn’t doing so well elsewhere. It is one of those tracks that is always good for a surprise result. That’s why we will go into this race weekend fully focused and well-prepared. And I certainly wouldn’t mind if I came away as the only driver to have won four or even five races there.”
Team-mate Lucas Auer returns to the Lausitzring as standings leader, a year after scoring his maiden victory in the DTM. “It’s obviously going to be quite special for me returning to the Lausitzring a year after my first DTM victory, and all the more so after such a good weekend in the season opener at Hockenheim. Consequently, I’m excited to see where we go from here. We have a superb car, but there is still some fine-tuning to do,” said Auer.
Edoardo Mortara had a complicated weekend in his first racing weekend for Mercedes in Hockenheim, with the Italian now looking to recover lost ground: “I feel that I missed out on a few points in Hockenheim. That is why we cannot afford to lose more points. The Lausitzring itself is not necessarily one of my favourite tracks. Nevertheless, I hope that we can have two decent races.”
Mercedes AMG lead the manufacturers’ standings with 92 points. Head of DTM Ulrich Fritz is expecting a good performance from his team: “We are feeling cautiously optimistic. We know that we have a fast car with regard to basic speed, but we have to see how much this works to our benefit on different tracks. If you ignore 2015, the Lausitzring has been a track where we have done well in recent years.”