Paffett heads to Budapest as the countdown to the end of the DTM season begins
Posted 20th September 2016
The 2016 DTM season moves closer to its conclusion this weekend as it heads to Budapest for the eighth and penultimate race weekend of the year where Gary Paffett is looking to record two strong performances to add to his season’s points tally.
This weekend sees the DTM roll into the Hungarian capital for the third time, having first visited back in 1988, for the 15th and 16th rounds of the 2016 season. With the season’s climax looming ever closer, Budapest certainly promises plenty of excitement in all three competitions.
Paffett has fond memories of the Hungaroring but will be confronted by new challenges this time round as the entire track has been completely resurfaced for the 2016. This will throw up new tests in getting the right balance between car setup and tyre management.
The Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM goes into the first qualifying session in Budapest as the heaviest car in the field, tipping the scales at 1,135 kilos. Despite this Paffett is still hoping for a points-scoring weekend in the Hungarian capital.
"The Nürburgring was a mixed weekend for me. But at least on Sunday the pace was decent. In Budapest, it's going to be tough again for us. All the same, I'm looking forward to the race weekend because I really like the track. That's why I'm all the more eager to return. My aim is to have two good races and score as many points as possible."
Admitting that the performance at the Nürburgring has left them lagging behind in the championship race, Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM, feels that this weekend is an all or nothing one for the team.
"In terms of our championship aspirations, the Nürburgring weekend was certainly a setback. But there are still 100 points up for grabs, and in the DTM anything can happen. The team has done a really fantastic job throughout the year. We have a strong car and great drivers. Consequently, we're of the opinion that we are still contenders for the championship. Obviously, it's not going to be easy for us in Budapest, and I mean that quite literally, but we just have to deal with it.”
Race 15 of the season gets underway at 13:58 (UTC) on Saturday the 24th of October, with the second race of the weekend getting underway the day later at 14:13.