News: DTM Race Results Archive

DTM Race Results Archive:
Paffett battles for points in Moscow

Posted 25th July 2017

It was a testing weekend for Gary Paffett in Russia as he fought hard to pick up vital championship points with one of the heaviest cars on the grid due to the performance weights.

The first time back in the car since his horrific accident in race two at the Norisring, Gary was armed with a new chasis and his weekend in Moscow started strongly. Posting the second fastest lap time in the first practice session of the weekend, Gary finished just a mere 0.050 seconds off the fastest man, Rene Rast, and as the fastest Mercedes.



Heading into Saturday, Gary continued to keep up his strong pace, despite the weight disadvantage, and finished the second session of the weekend in 7th place with a lap time of 1:28.337 and, again, as the fastest Mercedes.

Gary continued to impress as the lead Mercedes driver in qualifying, putting his C63 DTM in 9th place for the first race of the weekend.

Gary got off to a flying start in race one at Moscow, beating Tom Blomqvist off the line and taking 8th position before he had even arrived at turn one. Running down into turn one, Gary was squeezed to the inside and was forced onto the banana kerb. Mounting the kerb, Gary made slight contact with Jamie Green – resulting in Gary damaging the front end of his car.

Gary, crossing the line for lap one in 8th place, was in a close fight with Jamie Green as the two Brits battled hard for the opening laps but Gary began to drop away from Green as the laps went on. Pitting on lap 4, Gary rejoined the action in 12th place and had to fend off fellow Mercedes driver, Paul Di Resta, who was on warmer, fresher tyres. Keeping his position, Gary was 9th after the rest of the field had completed their stops and was behind the battle between Auer and Ekstrom.

As Ekstrom ran wide at turn one, Gary sensed his opportunity and dived down the inside at turn two and as the pair rubbed paintwork, Gary managed to squeeze his way through and move himself up into 8th position.

Now back behind Jamie Green, Gary got a good run on Green going down the back straight and with the assist of DRS flew around the outside of Green at the final corner and took 7th place away from his fellow countryman.

Fighting off Ekstrom until the chequered flag, Gary fended off a last-ditch attempt from the Swede and crossed the finishing line in 7th place, just 0.099 seconds in front of Ekstrom – picking up points for the 8th time this season!

Gary reflected on Saturday’s action as a ‘missed opportunity’ for the Mercedes team.

"After lining up in P9, it was our aim to finish in the points. I got a good start but then had some contact with Green in Turn 1 and damaged the front of the car a bit. After the pit stop, I was just stuck in traffic the whole time. To be honest, a few cars overtook me while I was in the pits. P7 was all I could do. I had a pretty close battle with Eki towards the end but managed to stay in front. We got some points in the end, but I think we missed an opportunity today." 



Starting in 9th place for the second time in Moscow, Gary got off the line well and was immediately fighting for his position as the field entered the tight turn one. Teammate Robert Wickens had made a flying start and had got past Gary before turn one and by the end of lap one, Gary was in 10th place as some drivers dived into the pits for an extremely early stop.

These early stoppers would be found to have made an excellent call on strategy as Maxime Martin stopped on track and brought out the first safety car of the weekend – gifting the early stoppers the opportunity to catch up to the pack and regain all their time lost in the pits.

At the Indy-style safety car restart, Gary and Mike Rockenfeller battled hard and switched position numerous times over the restarting lap but Gary eventually made the move stick on Rockenfeller as he went around the outside of Rockenfeller at the final corner.

Now running in 6th place, Gary came into the pits on lap 21 and his 9 second pitstop saw him rejoin in 11th place but with a handful of cars just behind him on tyres that were up to temperature. Gary, on his newer but colder tyres, had little he could do to stop the advancing cars and dropped back to 16th place.

Now with his tyres at their prime temperature and with 10 minutes left on the clock, Gary started to go on the offensive and made his way from 13th up to 11th before the chequered flag dropped.

\Gary crossed the finish line just outside the points in 11th place but after the race, he was handed a 30-second penalty for causing a collision with Audi driver Loïc Duval – demoting him to 16th place.

Gary was disappointed with how his Sunday panned out.

"That was a pretty tough race. I got off to a pretty good start, but then I got blocked by the traffic in turn one and lost a couple of places. After that, we stayed out a long time, which was a strategy that seemed to work. I gained a few places by doing that. When I came out after the pit stop, I dropped back a bit. Some guys that pitted really early benefited from the safety car, which obviously didn't help us. We were not all that lucky today. I then lost some more places following the 30-second penalty after the incident with Duval, but that doesn't change anything really as regards my haul of points."

Next up for Gary is a trip to Zandvoort, Holland, for the sixth round of the DTM season where he will be looking to build on his 61 points and 10thplace in the Drivers’ Standings. 


#2 Gary Paffett

FP1: 2nd (1:29.337, +0.050)

FP2: 7th (1:28.337, +0.733)
Q1: 9th (1:27.538, +0.503)
R1: 7th 

FP3: 14th (1:28.656, +0.995)
Q2: 9th (1:27.113, +0.595)
R2: 16th