Gary Paffett has hailed his season opening victory at Hockenheim as a 'fantastic start' to the new DTM era.
Paffett led home a Mercedes one-two after a scintillating drive saw the Brit progress with ease from sixth on the grid. Team-mate Jamie Green was the other half of the Mercedes one-two while the Stuttgart mark also saw three more of its cars finish in the points.
Best of the Audi finishers was pole man Mattias Ekstrom in third position, just under 20 seconds off the lead, hinting perhaps, that Mercedes have interpreted the new regulations in a much more effective manner than rivals Audi and BMW.
The Brit admitted his new C-Coupe had the perfect set up during Sunday's race.
“What a fantastic start to the new DTM era,” said an elated Paffett. “Many thanks to the team for their hard work - my THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was tuned perfectly.”
Paffett also admitted his 2011 campaign wasn't ideal but states he always believed his team could propel him back to the top.
“After a difficult season in 2011, I am pleased to have found the way back to the podium top spot,” he continued. “I've always believed in the team and my speed and that's now paid off. The scrap with Jamie was really exciting and always very fair, which is exactly how racing should be, simply terrific!”
Mercedes-Benz motorsport vice president Norbert Haug meanwhile paid testament to his team's effort which has translated into the three-pointed star taking their 100th one-two DTM victory.
“Our new C-Coupé was really on song today,” Haug stated. “This one-two finish for Gary Paffett and Jamie Green is the best possible reward for everyone who has worked so hard on the design and construction of our new DTM C-Coupé. My thanks to everyone - that was some of the best motor racing ever.
“This represents our 100th one-two victory in the DTM. Five Mercedes AMG C-Coupés finished in the top eight, and 65 percent of all the available points went to our drivers and teams”.
by Simon Evans