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Di Resta: I have a great chance of DTM crown.

Paul di Resta has moved into a position to challenge for the DTM Drivers' Championship after finishing second on home turf at Brands Hatch last weekend – and now the Mercedes-Benz star is confident he can go all the way.

In only his second season in the pan-European tin-top series following his F3 Euroseries title success back in 2006, di Resta is certainly making the most of the 2008-spec machinery at his disposal, consummately triumphing from pole position at the Eurospeedway Lausitz back in May and taking three further runner-up spots to boot to hoist himself up into joint second place in the standings with three races left to run – and 30 points still up for grabs.

Despite running ten kilograms heavier than Audi rival Timo Scheider at Brands, the Scot qualified less than a tenth of a second adrift of the championship leader before going on to track him closely throughout the 82-lap race – though never quite closely enough to be able to mount a challenge for victory.

“It was a good result to finish in the top two,” the former McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year reflected, speaking to Crash.net Radio. “It was a very strong performance, I think, both on the team's behalf and my behalf considering the weight penalty we had compared to Audi.

“I think in terms of race performance we had a little bit on them at Brands; I think if we'd started in front it would have made a little bit of a difference, but they did a good job in qualifying and they deserved it. We just need to work on our progress over the whole weekend and certainly move forward, but as a team performance I think we did a good job.

“I was praying for a bit more rain during the race – there was just a little bit of a spit – or maybe some backmarkers to put Timo a little bit under pressure, but all credit to him. I followed him for 82 laps and he didn't crack under the pressure.

“It's a difficult thing to accept, but we must go on. We've got to look up; we've had two second places [in the last two races], and if you look at the results we're certainly showing very strongly and I think we can continue that form in Barcelona.”

That much is indisputable, and as he both looks back over his season to-date and ahead to the challenge that remains over the final three outings – beginning in a fortnight's time, at a circuit where last year he finished up on the podium – di Resta is in bullish mood.

“You always want more as a driver,” the 22-year-old mused, “and I want more, but I'm learning a lot and moving forward and I just hope I can continue the form we've had for the last year-and-a-half.

“I think I have a great chance [of winning the championship this year]. I'm sure it could change two or three times before the end of the year – the DTM is very close, and it can change weekend-to-weekend. All I can do is give it maximum attack, and I'm sure that Mercedes will be strong enough to go for that.”

by Russell Atkins


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Paul di Resta - AMG Mercedes C-Class [pic credit: DTM Media]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit DTM]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Paul di Resta - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA  [pic credit Mercedes]
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]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Antonio Felix da Costa - BMW Team Schnitzer [pic credit BMW]
Antonio Felix da Costa - BMW Team Schnitzer [pic credit BMW]
Nico Muller - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Nico Muller - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Timo Scheider - Audi Sport Team Phoenix [pic credit Audi]

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