Gary Paffett happy with sixth after crashing off in qualifying

Gary Paffett was delighted to have extended his championship lead after finishing sixth in today’s DTM race at Brands Hatch, sporting damage after he slid into the barriers at the exit of Paddock Hill bend while on a fast lap in qualifying.

The championship leader went “over the limit” and ran wide at the famous first corner at Brands Hatch, and into the barriers, damaging the aero package on his HWA Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM.

A taped up and repaired car headed out shortly after and Paffett was able to qualify sixth on the grid, which he then converted into a sixth place finish, briefly threatening the BMW M4 DTM of Philipp Eng in the closing stages of the race in a car which couldn’t have any further work done on it due to parc ferme regulations.

“After qualifying when I was bouncing through the gravel I’d have taken sixth place right there,” said Paffett to TouringCarTimes. “It was a bit of a mistake, but that’s what it’s about. You have to push hard, but it can bite, so it was a bit of damage limitation after that – qualifying sixth after that was pretty mega.”

With Paffett managing his tyres more successfully than his BMW rival, the Briton expected to have a chance to overtake him, but couldn’t find a way past.

“After all these seasons we know about tyre wear compared to our competitors,” said Paffett. “With the same tyres, you’re not going to overtake around here, so I made sure Eng didn’t get too far away and I knew at the end of the race I’d have a chance. And he did have a big problem at the end. I was still in pretty good shape with my tyres, but he had it covered, so tomorrow we just have to be in front of them when it happens.”