Paffett relishing Nurburgring return this weekend
Posted 6th September 2016
Having secured a pole position and podium finish last time out at the Moscow Raceway, Gary Paffett is looking for an even better set of results this weekend as the DTM Championship rolls into the Nürburgring. With only three race weekends remaining of the 2016 DTM season, this weekend’s 13th and 14th rounds of the season at the Nürburgring take on an added significance for all of the drivers in the field.
Back-to-back podium finishes in Zandvoort and Moscow have lifted Gary to tenth in the Drivers’ Championship Standings and, with only four points separating him from sixth, an impressive showing this weekend would see him climb the rankings further.
The Mercedes-AMG DTM team head to the historic German track boasting an impressive previous record at the circuit, further fuelling hopes for a successful weekend this time out. This weekend also represents a notable landmark for the 3.629-kilometre circuit as the DTM is hosted in the Eifel region for the 50th time.
Ahead of the weekend, Gary remains optimistic of fashioning a positive result but is under no illusions regarding the competitiveness of the entire grid.
“Moscow was a mixed weekend for me. In the wet conditions on Saturday, things went really well, but we then struggled in the dry on Sunday. At the Nürburgring, I'm hoping for a more consistent and somewhat better performance. As usual, that won't be easy. Competition in the DTM is always very tight, and that's the way it will be in the Eifel. But I'll do my best and hope for another strong weekend like at Zandvoort or in the Saturday race in Moscow.”
Across the season, much like Gary in Moscow, the Mercedes-AMG cars have fared admirably in wet conditions and Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM, hopes that this may prove the case in the notoriously damp region of the Eifel.
“We came away from the two races at the Nürburgring last year with nine Top Ten finishes and two podiums. However, we didn't quite make it onto the top rung. We intend to rectify that this weekend. Perhaps we'll have some luck in terms of the weather. In the Eifel, rain is famously not an uncommon occurrence, and we saw in Moscow how well our car works in the wet. Broadly speaking, though, I'm anticipating a hard-fought and close weekend because we are after all entering the decisive phase of the championship battle."
The 13th and 14th races of the DTM season are scheduled to start on Saturday at 14:55 (UTC) and on Sunday at 15:10 (UTC).