Gary Paffett Lands on the Podium at the Lausitzring
Winner of the 2012 DTM season opener, Gary Paffett secures second place in second race of the season
by John Clark | 06 May 2012
View the photo gallery
After winning the DTM season opener last week, Gary Paffett, driver of the THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, managed to get on the podium again at the Lausitzring. Paffett came in a second behind Bruno Spengler of BMW who won the race in a time of 1:09:45.795. After the first two races of the season, Paffett leads the drivers’ standings with 43 points over Jamie Green, driver of the Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, who has 30 points. Team THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG lead the team standings with Mercedes AMG in second place with 37 points. Mercedes-Benz also leads in the DTM manufacturer championship with 96 points to BMW’s 54 points and Audi’s 52 points.
Jamie Green, 2nd in the opening race of the season Hockenheim a week ago, came in 4th. Green posted a time of 1:19.025 minutes, the fastest lap of the race at the Lausitzring, the second time he’s done it at this track. In total, Mercedes has clocked eight out of thirteen fastest laps in DTM races at this track since 2001. It was also the 164th quickest lap for Mercedes-Benz since 1988.
In his 45th DTM race, Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) moved up the field from 16th place to P10 and so finished in the points. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) and David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished in P11 and P12. In his second DTM race, Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) came home in 16th place. Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) was 21st, Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) did not finish.
The start: Gary Paffett moves up one position at the start into P2. Jamie Green overtakes Mike Rockenfeller on the first turn and is fifth. Vietoris moves up the field four places from 18th on the grid.
Lap 8: Green goes by Edoardo Mortara (Audi) and is in fourth place.
Lap 11: Ralf Schumacher and Christian Vietoris overtake Adrien Tambay (Audi).
Lap 13: The pit stop window is now open. Roberto Merhi, Schumacher and Vietoris come in for their first mandatory stop.
Lap 15 : First set of fresh tyres for Paffett.
Lap 18: Mehri wins through against Tambay in the scrap for 19th position.
Lap 21: Green now leads the race from Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Paffett.
Lap 25: Second pit stop for Merhi.
Lap 26: Green still in the lead but comes in now to make his first pit stop.
Lap 28: Schumacher makes his second mandatory pit stop.
Lap 30: Vietoris overtakes Rockenfeller.
Lap 31: Schumacher goes by Rahel Frey (Audi). Paffett comes in for final mandatory pit stop.
Lap 33: Green in P2 turns into the pit lane.
Lap 36: Paffett four tenths down on Spengler in second place.
Lap 48: Robert Wickens coasts to a halt at the side of the track.
Final lap: After 52 laps and a total distance of 180.856 kilometers, Gary Paffett and Jamie Green are second and fourth. Ralf Schumacher is tenth.
Comments after the race:
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Second:
“It’s such a pity. My THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé had enough speed to win again today. I was just a bit too far behind at the pit-stop. Having said that, my car was really quick and had a brilliant set-up, a tribute to the team. I was also so close to Bruno Spengler’s car that I was losing a bit of down force. However, I did give it my all and being second on the podium within the space of a week is a great result for us, especially after the win in the opening race.”
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Fourth:
“My Mercedes-AMG C-Coupé was just terrific today. Augusto Farfus drove a fantastic race. I was behind him most of the time, but despite the great pace of my car, I couldn’t get past. Now the focus of my attention has to be on my home race at Brands Hatch where I’m hoping to get back on the podium again.”
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 10th:
“Our C-Coupé was pretty quick today. The car performed flawlessly and the same applies to the strategy and the pit stops. This enabled us to progress from 16th to 10th place. If I can get a better grid position in the next race, I’ll hopefully not get stuck in traffic and be able to compete with the front runners.”
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), 11th:
“We were not quite as quick as at the season opener in Hockenheim. There was a lot of dirt on the track which cost us more than we expected. It’s a bit annoying that we just missed a points finish, but hopefully things will go better for us in two weeks time at Brands Hatch.”
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 12th:
“I had to be careful at the start of the race not to collide with any other cars and make sure my car wasn’t damaged. I gave it my all and got the best possible result. I just couldn’t have managed any more than that.”
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 16th:
“I think the race went well but I would have preferred to have been further up the field. I’m hoping that things will be better for me at Brands Hatch given a bit more preparation.”
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 21st:
“I had a bit of a disappointing race. Straight after my first pit stop I realised that there was no way I could make any great progress in the race. I’ll just have to draw a line in the sand now and look to the future.”
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), retired
“Unfortunately I skidded off the track on lap 48. However, I have made some progress despite this. I’ll now focus all my efforts on Brands Hatch and hopefully pick up my first DTM points there.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“Both Gary and Jamie had the speed to secure P1, but at this track it is not enough to simply go faster to be able to overtake. Gary started the race from third place, a mere 0.043 seconds adrift of pole position. He immediately moved up one position as the race began but was subsequently unable to get past the rear of Spengler’s car, which he was then forced to follow for about 50 laps.
Congratulations to BMW and Bruno Spengler on their victory and many thanks to our team for their sterling work since the beginning of the season, which has enabled us to head all three championship standings – the drivers’, the team and manufacturers’ championships.
As in Hockenheim, our C-Coupé and our drivers were highly competitive and we want to make a concerted effort to build on that.”