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Paffett takes lead with Zandvoort win

Gary Paffett has moved into the lead in the DTM title chase after securing victory in the fourth round of the season at Zandvoort; the Mercedes driver's second win of the 2009 campaign.

The Briton, who started the race from second on the grid, followed pole-sitter Oliver Jarvis through the early stages of the race but took the lead when Jarvis made a slight error and ran wide.

From there, a trouble free-run run allowed Paffett to secure victory and the championship lead by two points from Audi rival Mattias Ekstrom.

“The track is really difficult, but we had a great car and a superb performance today,” he said. “The Mercedes-Benz team has done an outstanding job throughout the weekend.”

Despite his error, Jarvis looked good to take second but slowed in the final stages of the race as Ekstrom made his way through the field from a lowly ninth on the grid to secure the runner-up slot. Jarvis had to settle for third ahead of Phoenix Racing team-mate Alex Premat who also allowed Ekstrom through during the race. Capping a reversal of fortunes for Audi after a tough qualifying session, Martin Tomczyk and Markus Winkelhock finished fifth and sixth.

Strategy worked against Bruno Spengler after he elected to pit late for his first stop and then early for his second stop, with the Canadian having to settle for seventh place ahead of defending champion Timo Scheider in eighth. Paul di Resta and Maro Engel completed the top ten.

The results of the race remain provisional, with stewards of the meeting investigating the strategy employed by Audi in the closing stages.



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Gary Paffett
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