DTM title contender Paul di Resta remains defiant despite losing the championship lead to his Mercedes team mate Gary Paffett, following a difficult opening race at Hockenheim.

Di Resta saw his already slender four-point championship lead completely wiped out over the course of Saturday after qualifying and finishing behind Paffett in eighth during the opening race.

As a result, Di Resta now goes into the final race of the year six-points behind Paffett in second as the two team mates prepare to battle it out for the drivers' title during what will be Mercedes' last race in the DTM.

Along with having to contend with Paffett, Di Resta also has reigning champion Rene Rast in close company after the Audi driver took his fifth straight win to set up a three-way title fight on finals day.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t my day today. P6 on the grid was not ideal, especially with Gary and René starting in front of me," said Di Resta.

"What’s more, Gary was able to halve my small lead with the two points gained in qualifying. In the race itself, there was then a lot of action, battling for position and the safety car.

"At first, it didn’ t look so bad, but ultimately, eighth place is a disappointing result for me. Now I have to give it everything I’ve got in the second qualifying session tomorrow to start from the front and try to make up the six points on Gary.

"Nothing is lost yet. It will certainly be an exciting final race.”