Paffett wins in front of home crowd

Gary Paffett led home BMW's Bruno Spengler to take his second win of the season, strengthening the Mercedes man's grip on the championship.
Mercedes' Gary Paffett cruised to a home DTM victory at Brands Hatch giving him two wins out of three so far season, further boosting the Brits championship challenge.

The 2005 champion crossed the line after 97 laps in front of the Lausitzring winner, Bruno Spengler in his BMW.

Paffett, made a textbook start from pole position enabling him to stretch his legs in front of Spengler's BMW with Audi's Mike Rockenfeller just behind after jumping into third position at the start at the expense of Christian Vietoris.

Paffett, from here on in was able to control the race at the front through the pit stop windows thanks to a couple of clinical tyre changes from his Mercedes crew, ensuring track position was always kept.

The Brit now leads the championship by 15 points after clinching his maiden home success.

Spengler's second position at one point was looking comfortable, but during the last phase of the race the Canadian was forced to nurse his car home with a broken front splitter.

As a result this allowed the Audi of Mike Rockenfeller to close right in on the BMW, but the former Le Mans winner couldn't find a way past on the tight Indy circuit and had to settle for third position.

Just missing the podium was defending champion, Martin Tomczyk, who after making a poor start had an exciting sequence of opening laps. The German who dropped to seventh pulled off two perfectly executed manoeuvres moving him up to fifth, each at Clearways.

The BMW man was then embroiled in a race long battle with Audi's Filipe Alberquerque. Tomczyk eventually prevailed after a poor stop for Alberquerque dropped him behind the German.

Mattias Ekstrom enjoyed a far more positive day and completed the top five after starting the race from ninth position. Following just behind was Mercedes' Christian Vietoris, who having dropped from second to eighth on the opening lap was able to salvage a sixth place finish.

Seventh, thanks to a superbly executed strategy was Audi's Miguel Molina, who took advantage of gaining good track position by staying out longer during the pit stop window.

Home hero Jamie Green placed his Mercedes into a top eight finish following a late surge which saw the Brit salvage some points in front of his home fans.

The Audi's of Edoardo Mortara and Alberquerque rounded off the top ten and points paying positions.

Meanwhile it was disappointing day for former triple WTCC champion Andy Priaulx, who after making contact with the Mercedes of David Coulthard on the opening lap was forced to retire only a handful of laps later. Coulthard carried on but could only manage 15th.

Ralf Schumacher continued his difficult start to the season by capping off a disastrous weekend with a 19th place finish.

by Simon Evans

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Start. Brands Hatch, 2012 [Pic credit: DTM]
Gary Paffett. HWA, Thomas Sabo Mercedes AMG C-Coup [Pic credit: DTM]
Start. Brands Hatch, 2012 [Pic credit: DTM]
Gary Paffett. Brands Hatch winner. HWA, Thomas Sabo Mercedes AMG C-Coup [Pic credit: DTM]
Gary Paffett. Brands Hatch winner. HWA, Thomas Sabo Mercedes AMG C-Coup [Pic credit: DTM]

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