Lausitz DTM: Paffett wins for Mercedes ahead of Rockenfeller's Audi
|By Jamie O'Leary||Sunday, June 16th 2013, 13:14 GMT|
Gary Paffett took his first DTM victory for over a year with a commanding drive at Lausitz while Mike Rockenfeller took the championship lead by finishing second.
From second on the grid Paffett jumped into the lead at the first corner ahead of his HWA Mercedes team-mate Christian Vietoris and pulled out an advantage of nearly three seconds before his first pitstop.
When he exited, having switched from soft 'option' Hankook rubber to the harder 'standard' tyres, it was Rockenfeller on his tail, rather than Vietoris.
Rockenfeller, who had completed the first lap in sixth spot, had started on the standard tyres and changed to the options as the pit window opened on lap three.
The pace the Phoenix Audi driver and his early-race rival Robert Wickens were able to exert from their rubber allowed the pair to take second and third places by the time everybody had made a stop.
While Wickens, who stayed ahead of Rockenfeller until being demoted at Turn 1 on lap 25, completed a short middle stint and dropped back from the victory fight after switching to another set of standards, the Audi man remained quick.
Rockenfeller's 39-lap stint on the options was in excess of any of the other victory contenders, but on standard rubber he was unable to stay with Paffett and ceded seven seconds to the Briton over the final 10 laps.
Wickens lost third to Vietoris during the final handful of laps while Jamie Green, who started third, took his best result since moving to Audi with fifth spot for the Abt team.
Daniel Juncadella was one of the stars of the race; the rookie starting 13th in his RSC Mucke Mercedes and finishing sixth, the best of his many passing moves coming late on as he passed Bruno Spengler's Schnitzer BMW at Turn 1.
Spengler, who finished just 0.1s ahead of Mattias Ekstrom's Abt Audi in seventh, is now level on points with Rockenfeller at the top of the championship, but drops behind his rival on countback.
Ekstrom made both of his mandatory stops within the first 10 laps, then ran a 43-lap stint on a set of options. He passed Adrien Tambay, Pascal Wehrlein and Edoardo Mortara inside the final 10 laps.
Martin Tomczyk's dismal season continued as he spun early on after colliding with his RMG BMW team-mate Andy Priaulx. He finished 19th, with Priaulx 22nd.
Results - 52 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1h09m58.562s 2. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi +6.800s 3. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes +11.510s 4. Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes +12.790s 5. Jamie Green Abt Audi +14.138s 6. Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes +19.462s 7. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW +21.592s 8. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi +21.621s 9. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi +24.715s 10. Roberto Merhi HWA Mercedes +25.643s 11. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi +27.968s 12. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW +34.178s 13. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW +38.000s 14. Timo Glock MTEK BMW +49.305s 15. Joey Hand RBM BMW +53.321s 16. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi +58.882s 17. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Mercedes +59.948s 18. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi +1m03.083s 19. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW +1m03.107s 20. Timo Scheider Abt Audi +1m08.006s 21. Marco Wittmann MTEK BMW +1 lap 22. Andy Priaulx RMG BMW +1 lap