Gary Paffett won his home race, the third round of the DTM 2012 season at Brands Hatch starting from pole position. His lead over Bruno Spengler was close to five seconds. After the opening win in Hockenheim, it was Paffett’s second victory in the third race of the 2012 DTM season, in the THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. This victory gives Paffett a lead of 25 points over Bruno Spengler in the championship standings. Paffett’s points total 68 now and that of the THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG team at 88, which puts team on top.
“It’s a great feeling to win my home race. I’ve now finally secured my first DTM victory at this track. The team and my THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé were simply terrific – it was a perfect race that we controlled from start to finish. Still, it was not easy, as Bruno Spengler kept piling on the pressure but we stayed in front. Three races, two wins and one second place – let’s hope this season continues just as it began.” said Paffett on his victory.
After 97 laps, Bruno Spengler crossed the finish line in second place at the wheel of the BMW Bank M3 DTM. Martin Tomczyk driving the BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM finished fourth gaining 12 points. Tomczyk also clocked the fastest lap of the race (42.138 seconds) on lap 57.
Spengler started third on the grid, overtook Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) into second, before settling in to be within striking distance of Paffett throughout the entire race. The front splitter of the BMW Bank M3 DTM was damaged on the kerb in turn one and Spengler had to fend off Mike ‘Rocky’Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM.
“I am very happy with this second place. Gary Paffett was very quick, particularly in the first stint. Despite this, I was able to hang on to his coattails. It reminded me of my win at the Lausitzring, but with the roles reversed. It was a tough race. You do not have much time to take a breather in the cockpit. The team was brilliant again. The second stop was particularly good. My front-left splitter broke towards the end of the race, which made things a bit exciting. But we did enough. The season has been great so far. The three manufacturers are extremely evenly matched, which makes it fun for us drivers as well as the fans.” said Bruno Spengler.
Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM also overtook Christian Vietoris and finished third after the battle with Spengler.
“We all know how difficult overtaking is at Brands Hatch,” said Mike Rockenfeller after the race. “I wanted to secure the points because this third place was enormously important. It gives the whole team a new motivation boost. I want to thank the guys who worked extremely hard during the past few weeks and gave me a superb car here. The situation in yesterday’s qualifying was extremely close. In the race we almost managed to take second place. Finally, we’ve clinched a good result again – we’re going to give everything to continue this way.”
“I didn’t get a very good start off the first row unfortunately. That caused me to drop back a few places at the start of the race. From then on I found it difficult to move up the field but I eventually did manage to gain a few places on the others and collect some important points with sixth place.” said Christian Vietoris.
Miguel Molina put in a good race moving from the first lap in 14th place position seven with consistently fast lap times. He was the quickest driver in the entire field across extensive phases.
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) had to retire early. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) and Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) were in the points with finishes in 6th and 8th place respectively. Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) came in 14th, 15th, 17th and 19th place.
The manufacturers’ championship is headed by Mercedes-Benz with 133 points, followed by Audi (86 points) and BMW (84 points).