Paul di Resta heads into the penultimate meeting on the 2008 DTM schedule at Le Mans in France this weekend confident he can further close the seven-point gap currently separating him from championship leader Timo Scheider in the title standings.
Though it is the Audi man who has led the way for the majority of the season, it is his Mercedes-Benz rival who is undoubtedly the man in-form as the title showdown rapidly closes in, having finished runner-up at both the Nürburgring and on home turf at Brands Hatch in recent weeks, and having secured his second success of the campaign last time out in Barcelona to out-score Scheider by four points over the three outings.
What's more, di Resta has fond memories of Le Mans, after triumphing there two years ago en route
to the F3 Euroseries laurels – on the same weekend that current AMG Mercedes team-mate Bruno Spengler prevailed in the first DTM race to be held around the La Sarthe circuit.
In further promising omens for the three-pointed star, former double Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen holds the series lap record at the track, whilst the Stuttgart marque has defeated Audi in almost two thirds of the races it has contested against the Ingolstadt manufacturer, in addition to tasting victory champagne in 62 of its 97 appearances since the DTM's re-launch eight years ago.
“Two second places and one win out of the previous three races and 26 out of 30 possible points were a good record,” confirmed di Resta, who earlier this year became Mercedes' youngest-ever winner in the pan-European tin-top series at the Lausitzring in May, at the age of just 22 years and 32 days.
“At Le Mans I want to continue this performance. I believe in my chance to win the championship title and so does my team.”
In a reversal of the drivers' situation, AMG Mercedes leads Audi Sport Team Abt in the teams' classification by a scant two points.