Paffett: We didn`t expect to win with that car...

As he looks ahead to the 2008 DTM campaign, former champion Gary Paffett has reflected on his return to the leading tin-top series last year – and a certain race at Oschersleben in particular.

On only his second outing since his comeback to the category, McLaren Formula 1 test driver Paffett astounded the opposition and made history by storming to victory at the Saxony circuit – the first driver ever to do so in a year-old car. Though he would not again make it up onto the podium over the course of the season, the Bromley-born ace did register four further points finishes from the ten meetings, securing him ninth spot in the final standings – and highest-placed representative with a 2007-spec machine.

“I thing we did a quite a good job,” he mused. “We could have been even better, but that's rather difficult when you're racing an older-spec car. Hence, we just had to be happy with our achievements.

“We didn't expect it [victory at Oschersleben], but we knew it was possible. It was just fantastic. I had won DTM races before, so crossing the finish line of a DTM race as winner wasn't something new for me, but it was the first time that I had done so with an older-spec car. That's why it was something special.

“Furthermore, it was also the maiden win for Team Persson. My win definitely represents the season highlight – winning a race is always something special.”

The 26-year-old registered his highest qualifying performance of the year with fourth place at the Norisring at the end of June, only to miss out on a rostrum finish by just one position. A podium similarly went begging at Mugello in Italy a month later, what Paffett classes as the nadir of his campaign.

“Mugello was my season low,” the Mercedes ace admitted. “In the race, the car was just fantastic and I succeeded in battling my way up to sixth position. Then we made a pit-stop during the safety car period, and right after having rejoined the action I was hit by Martin Tomczyk in turn one. A true pity as a podium finish would have been possible.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Brits Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett celebrate a one-two result on the DTM podium at Oschersleben in 2007 [pic credit: DTM Media]
Motorsport / DTM : 11. Lauf Hockenheim, 2005 , Gary Paffett ( GBR , Team HWA , Mercedes C-Klasse ) wird Meister der DTM, www.hoch-zwei.net , copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Juergen Tap
Gary Paffett - Laureus AMG Mercedes [pic credit: DTM Media]
Felix Rosenqvist, Mercedes Team ART, DTM [Credit: Mercedes]
Marco Wittmann, BMW, DTM, [Credit: DTM]
Robert Wickens, DTM, Moscow Raceway [Credit: DTM]
Mattias Ekstrom - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Robert Wickens - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA [pic credit DTM]
Rene Rast - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Rene Rast - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Gary Paffett - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team ART [pic credit DTM]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]

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