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Gary Paffett gets DTM 2017 preparations underway

Posted 22nd March 2017

Gary Paffett’s preparation for the new DTM season continued as he travelled to Vallelunga, Italy this past week for the second round of official DTM tests.

Paffett headed to Italy last week with the Mercedes-AMG DTM team in strong shape as they had already completed a grand total of 448 laps over a three-day visit to Portimao in February.

It was at the Portuguese track where Gary Paffett clocked up his first miles of 2017 when he was handed driving duties for the first day of the three-day test and Paffett put in a total of 159 laps at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. The 35-year-old was evidently satisfied with his first test outing of the year.

"It was good to be back in the car again after the winter," said Gary. "We did a lot of kilometres, and we collected plenty of data on short runs and long runs. We looked at the tyres and also tried a few things on setup. It was a good first day, but I think that, as always, we still have a lot of work to do."

Gary’s ability to provide profound and informed feedback is well-known across the grid, a trait that has seen him be appointed McLaren F1 reserve driver previously and now Williams F1 development driver. Therefore it was no surprise to see Gary making an appearance at both Mercedes tests, of which only three of the team’s six divers are brought along to.

The Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team completed the second of three rounds of testing last week in Vallelunga, Italy. Gary Paffett shared driving duties with Robert Wickens and new stablemate Edoardo Mortara, and between them, the three DTM race winners posted 518 laps, equating to 2,116 km, of the Autodromo Vallelunga.

On the second day of testing in Italy, Gary Paffett took over control of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM from Robert Wickens and delivered another productive day of testing. Completing 201 laps, Gary first had to familiarise himself with the 4.085-km circuit, on which he had never raced before.

"I liked the track and got up to speed pretty quickly," said Gary, who completed a mammoth day's testing. "We did over 200 laps, which is pretty amazing. It was hard work, but we collected lots of useful data." The programme included a mix of long and short runs. The main focus was on understanding the new tyres. "It was a really good day," said Gary, summing up.

With new regulations being introduced for 2017, including reduced aerodynamics, increased horsepower and new tyres, testing is essential for the teams before the season opener at Hockenheim in May.