Gary Paffett admits he is more excited than ever ahead of the 2012 DTM season, insisting that a change in regulations and the addition of BMW to the grid has created a 'massive buzz' around the series.
The 2005 champion returns for another season with Mercedes at the wheel of a new C-Coupe in what is set to be the most eagerly anticipated title fight for some time.
Newcomers BMW has signalled its intention to fight for the title with the likes of Augusto Farfus, Andy Priaulx and defending champion Martin Tomczyk amongst its drivers and Paffett admitted that the new manufacturer had caused plenty of excitement ahead of the new season.
“I'm looking forward to this year's DTM more than I have done for maybe four or five years,” he said. “There is a real buzz around the series with BMW coming in and with new teams and new drivers. I think the most exciting thing is that we don't know what to expect.
“We don't know if we will be quick because the cars are so different to what we have had before and it is difficult to say if we will be competitive. BMW may come in and be really fast or we might be dominant from the start. We have to wait until the first race and see where we are.
“We've had strength in depth for a while so that won't change, but getting used to the new car will be the big challenge.”