Aston Martin’s results on DTM debut “above expectations”
Paul di Resta achieved the best result for R-Motorsport and Aston Martin on their DTM debut, finishing seventh in the second race of the Hockenheim season opener, a result that was above their expectations.
Di Resta qualified in 15th place in dry conditions and pitted on the seventh lap of the race, just before the safety car was called into action.
“I knew I did the right thing when the safety car came out and I made it clear what I thought when I came out of the pits,” said di Resta to TouringCarTimes when asked whether he thought he would need a second stop. “I gave them feedback and told them it was up to them from then on. I think if we look at we have achieved here, we can give ourselves a pat on the back.”
However, di Resta started feeling signs of heavy tyre degradation and went off at the Parabolika. The Scot made a second stop with seven laps remaining in the race.
“I could perhaps have overtaken Glock (BMW), but everyone makes mistakes, I made a mistake with my last set. But now the thing is to regroup and debrief and see where everybody can do a better job. Maybe I could have lasted it out with my second set, but who knows,” commented di Resta.
“Today is the first example of where our car is, we were where we thought we would be. Our performance is a bit behind that of BMW and Audi, and that’s expected, so we have to work now to try to enhance that. Our tactical decision was right, we were sharp, we managed to finish both races and I think that’s already a good thing,” concluded the Scot.
The four Aston Martin Vantage DTM drivers struggled in qualifying of the second race day, with Daniel Juncadella scoring the best starting spot in 14th place.
“We knew that our pace at one lap wasn’t good,” Florian Kamelger, the team principal, told TouringCarTimes. “But, when we look at our race pace, we can see that we aren’t that far from the pack, so I think we can be quite happy with what we have achieved here this weekend.”
Kamelger believes that di Resta made the right strategic call, which he transformed in the best result for the team yet in the DTM: “Towards the end, it was inevitable that we would have to bring Paul in again, in order to have a good pace in the closing stages on fresh tyres. But P7 and P11 have more than met our expectations.”
“We scored points, we put two cars in P3 and P6 in qualifying yesterday, we led some laps today, we overtook some rivals on the track, so we can’t ask for more, it has been a very good start for us,” added Kamelger.