Buhk to replace absent Paffett in opening DTM races

Factory Mercedes-AMG driver Maximilian Buhk will contest the opening two races of the 2021 DTM for Mucke Motorsport, replacing Gary Paffett while the Briton is on Formula E reserve duty.

Buhk to replace absent Paffett in opening DTM races

As revealed by Autosport earlier this week, two-time DTM champion Paffett will skip the Monza and Lausitzring rounds due to his clashing role with Mercedes' FE team.

This means Paffett, who added the 2018 DTM title to his 2005 crown in Mercedes' last DTM season prior to its withdrawal, will not be able to make his long-awaited DTM return until the third round of the season at Zolder in August. 

When Paffett made a decision on rejoining the DTM after a two-year absence in March, incidentally after receiving a call from Mercedes customer racing boss Stefan Wendl during the Diriyah Formula E races, he only faced one clash between the two championships.

However, FE later decided to add a new event at Puebla when it became clear that the Mexico City race was no longer feasible, meaning he will now miss at least two rounds and has no chance of adding a third DTM title to his CV in 2021.

In a video message on Twitter, Paffett said: “I just want to let you know some news which probably would disappoint a lot of you, that I’m not going to be racing at the first event in Monza and the second event at Lausitzring as well.

“Due to my previous commitments with the Mercedes Formula E team as reserve driver and technical and sporting advisor, I’m not going to be able to make it there because of the clashes with Puebla in Mexico and the UK events of Formula E. 

“Unfortunately I’m not going to be at the first two events, but I’ll be back on track pushing as hard as I can from the third weekend onwards.

“The car, the Schaeffler-Paravan Mercedes run by Mucke Motorsport, will be racing there in the very safe and capable hands of good friend Maxi Buhk, so I hope you can all cheer the team in my absence as I will be.”

Gary Paffett, Mücke Motorsport

Gary Paffett, Mücke Motorsport

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Mucke has called in the 28-year-old Buhk to replace Paffett for the opening two rounds of the championship.

While new to the DTM, Buhk is well-versed in GT racing, having won the 2015 Blancpain GT Sprint Cup title with Bentley, and the overall Blancpain GT Series crown in 2016 with Mercedes.

The German driver completed a day of running at the Hockenheim pre-season test in April to familiarise himself with the Schaeffler-Paravan-developed steer-by-wire system, dubbed 'Space Drive’. More recently, he privately tested for two days at Monza, the venue for this weekend’s championship opener.

“I am delighted to be part of this development project, even if only as a substitute,” said Buhk. “Driving with Space Drive or with an electronic steering system is a completely new experience for me.

“My first impression was very positive. I was surprised how good the feedback I got from the steering was. Of course, there are still some areas where we can improve. The season opener in Monza will be exciting.”

shares
comments

Related video

DTM 2021: Full list of drivers, teams and manufacturers

Previous article

DTM 2021: Full list of drivers, teams and manufacturers

Next article

The eight things to watch for as the DTM's brave new era begins

The eight things to watch for as the DTM's brave new era begins
Load comments
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020