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Paffett takes Lausitzring victory
16 June 2013
Gary Paffett has taken his first DTM victory of the season at the Lausitzring to reignite his and Mercedes' title challenge while BMW managed only one car in the points with Bruno Spengler's seventh.
Paffett, who started from second on the grid, made a faultless start to immediately take the lead from his younger Mercedes team-mate Christian Vietoris who made a sluggish getaway from pole.
The Brit then began to stretch his legs ahead of the young German, however, it was the Audi of Mike Rockenfeller who was the HWA man's main threat as the Phoenix -run car, who was running sixth in the opening stages, pitted out of sync early in the race and rejoined behind the 2005 champion after the first round of stops.
The pair then ran nose to tail until the final few laps where Paffett eventually opened over a six-second gap to claim his first win since Brands Hatch last year.
Rockenfeller's second place means the German now leads the championship on the same 59 points as Spengler but assumes the top spot on count back with an earlier victory.
Pole-sitter Vietoris completed the rostrum after pulling off a late move on Robert Wickens, who at one stage looked as though he may conjure a race-winning drive with another alternative strategy.
Wickens began the race on the standard tyre and pitted on lap 4 for the option rubber, but his race was ultimately compromised by Audi's Rockenfeller sailing past the Canadian who in the end had to settle for fourth.
Jamie Green delivered his best result in Audi colours thus far in fifth position while Mercedes rookie Dani Juncadella finished sixth, putting manners on defending champion Spengler for the position on his way to a career best finish in the DTM.
Despite starting from 18th Mattias Ekstrom managed to salvage some points in eighth which nearly became seventh but for a mere two-hundredths of a second as the Audi narrowly lost out in drag race to the line with Spengler's BMW.
Edoardo Mortara and Roberto Mehri rounded out the points paying positions in ninth and tenth.
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