DTM Nürburgring 2012: Race - Gary Paffett retains championship lead
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished sixth and still has a comfortable lead in the championship – he has advanced to 103 points, twenty ahead of his nearest challenger Bruno Spengler (BMW). Green is in third place on 81 points. THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG are currently ahead in the team standings on 127 points. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz still tops the constructor’s table on 237 points.
DTM rookie Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) secured P7, his best result to date in the world’s most popular touring car series. His previous best result was ninth at the last race at the Norisring. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished his 50th DTM race in 13th position. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) and Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) came home in positions 16 and 17 respectively. David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) was 20th. Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) had to retire.
A total of 89,000 spectators attended the DTM race weekend (Fri, Sat, and Sun) at the Nürburgring.
The start: Jamie Green moves up the field by two positions from seventh to fifth. Gary Paffett gains four places and finishes the first lap in P7. Robert Wickens is sixth, sandwiched between Green and Paffett.
Lap 5: Green, Wickens and Paffett in positions five, six and seven respectively. David Coulthard in P17, having moved up five places from his original position on the grid.
Lap 6: Drive-through penalty for Christian Vietoris after a collision.
Lap 9: Roberto Merhi parks up in the pits and retires.
Lap 12: The pit stop window is now open. Paffett and Susie Wolff are the first C-Coupé drivers to come in for a tyre change.
Lap 13: Green pits from fifth place.
Lap 14: First mandatory pit stops for Wickens and Ralf Schumacher.
Lap 15: First pit stop for Coulthard.
Lap 18: After their first mandatory pit stops, Green, Paffett and Wickens in P5, 6 and 7 respectively.
Lap 19: Second change of tyres for Green.
Lap 22: Wolff pits for second time.
Lap 25: Final mandatory pit stop for Schumacher.
Lap 26: Championship leader Paffett pits for second time, lying in P5.
Lap 27: DTM rookie Wickens in third place before his last pit stop. Second time in pits for Vietoris.
Lap 28: Wickens pits and emerges behind Green, Rockenfeller and Paffett.
Lap 36: Three C-Coupé drivers in top seven – Green, Paffett and Wickens.
Final lap (lap 49): After 49 laps and a total distance of 177.821km, Jamie Green finishes in P4. Championship leader Gary Paffett takes sixth place from fellow Mercedes driver Robert Wickens.
Comments after the race:
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Fourth:
„That was a tough race in high temperatures and against some tough competition. A P4 finish after starting from seventh on the grid is a respectable result – I’m quite satisfied under the circumstances and after the difficult qualifying. I'm third in the drivers’ standings and am only 22 points behind P1, which puts me in an excellent position. I will do all I can to secure as many points as possible this coming weekend in Zandvoort.“
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Sixth:
„Today’s race went much better than qualifying. My THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was very fast, the team did a great job in preparing the car and I got away well. In view of my P11 on the grid, sixth place is a decent result, but more points might have been possible given our pace today. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a hiccup during the second pit stop, but that’s simply part and parcel of motor racing. We intend mixing it with the front-runners once again next weekend in Zandvoort.“
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Seventh:
„Seventh is my best result so far in the DTM, so I'm very happy. I’ve finished in the points for the second time in a row and my stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé ran perfectly. My start was very good and my race pace was also very fast. Now I want to take the momentum from this encouraging weekend to the next race in Zandvoort and post another good result there.“
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 13th:
„P13 is nothing to write home about, but after the disappointment of qualifying back in 15th, I feel we got the best out of a bad situation. Unfortunately, I got stuck in traffic and ran out of overtaking opportunities. Congratulations to Jamie, Gary und Robert – they did a fantastic job.“
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), 16th:
„I had been hoping for something better in my home race than P16. Unfortunately, the whole weekend failed to go according to plan – qualifying back in 18th left me with an uphill task for the race itself. The drive-through penalty on lap 6 effectively spelt the end of my chances. A pity really, as I had hoped to deliver a better result for all the fans in the grandstands at the Nürburgring which after all counts as my home track. We had good pace today, and I intend to go on the attack once again in the next race at Zandvoort.“
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 17th:
„A car hit me going into Turn 3 on the first lap and I spun as a result. I then had to catch up with the rest of the field on subsequent laps, which cost me time. We decided to complete our two pit stops early, so I had to nurse the tyres during the final laps of the race.“
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 20th:
„What a pity. I’d intended doing much better for the start of the second half of the season here at the Nürburgring, but unfortunately, the race did not go exactly according to plan. We will now carefully analyse the data from this weekend and I hope to finish higher up the field next week in the race at Zandvoort.“
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), retired:
„I got away well but had an unfortunate collision with another driver on lap four. The car sustained quite a lot of damage, forcing me to retire on lap nine. I’m now looking forward to next weekend at Zandvoort and the chance to achieve a better result.“
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„Considering where we started from on the grid today, I think we have done rather a good job. Gary advanced from eleventh to sixth, Jamie from seventh to fourth and Robert from ninth to seventh. The delay on the second pit stop cost Gary two places and four points and yet despite that, he still emerges from this race with a 20-point lead in the championship. In one week, we meet again at Zandvoort, so we’ll take it from there.“
* Official photo and details courtesy of Mercedes-AMG GmbH *
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