Gary Paffett says reaching 200 DTM starts not unfeasible

Gary Paffett sees no reason why he cannot spend another 10 years racing in the DTM as he gears up for his 100th start in the series at Oschersleben this weekend

Gary Paffett says reaching 200 DTM starts not unfeasible

The Briton made his series debut in 2003 and won the title two years later.

He has finished as championship runner-up three times in the past four years and remains in title contention with three races of the current campaign to go.

Paffett, 32, pointed towards the record of his former Mercedes team-mate Bernd Schneider, the most successful driver in DTM history in terms of wins and championships, as something to aim for.

He does not think reaching 200 starts is out of the question.

"I'd love to keep going as long as Bernd did," Paffett said. "He was in his early forties when he stopped and was still winning races. He's still winning the 24-hour races in GTs now!

Paffett in the DTM: 100 not out

"I've always been competitive in this championship and as long as my performances stay at that kind of level, then hopefully Mercedes will see no reason to get rid of me and I'll be able to stay.

"I'm 32 now and with 10 races a year that means it will take another 10 years; maybe slightly less if the calendar is increased by a race or two.

"It might be stretching it a little, but I'm still enjoying my racing, have a long-term deal with Mercedes and want to keep going as long as I can."

Paffett lies sixth in the championship standings, 49 points behind Audi's series leader Mike Rockenfeller with 75 still up for grabs in the final three races.

He also trails HWA team-mates Robert Wickens and Christian Vietoris by 13 and 14 points respectively

"I'll never concede my chances until the maths say I can't win the championship," Paffett added.

"I'll keep pushing as hard as I can, but given the position I'm in points-wise, it's not looking very likely."

PAFFETT'S DTM NUMBERS

99 - starts (including non-points Shanghai street race in 2004)
20 - wins
9 - poles
10 - fastest laps
31 - podiums
1 - manufacturer (Mercedes)
2005 - his championship year
3 - number of times he's finished second in the points since 2009

AUTOSPORT will broadcast live video of both the race and qualifying from the Oschersleben DTM event this weekend. You can catch all the qualifying and race action from Germany from 1.30pm BST on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday.

shares
comments
Mercedes: no hurry to decide size of 2014 DTM line-up
Previous article

Mercedes: no hurry to decide size of 2014 DTM line-up

Next article

Gary Paffett: 100 not out

Gary Paffett: 100 not out
The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality Plus

The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality

His day of days in Formula 1 came at Indianapolis in 2005, a day grand prix racing strives to forget. But Patrick Friesacher, the long-serving Red Bull lieutenant, remains active today driving a two-seater that provides ordinary people with a glimpse of an F1 car’s savage potential, including this writer...

Formula 1
Jun 2, 2022
How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir Plus

How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir

OPINION: Questionable driving standards and farcical team orders meant the DTM's first season under GT3 regulations ended under a cloud. But the organisation has responded firmly by banning team orders and welcomed new manufacturers, making for an intriguing season ahead as new and returning names prepare for battle

DTM
Mar 30, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival Plus

The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival

On his rise through the ranks before reaching Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton was usually a cut above the rest. But he never truly asserted himself over a Mercedes-backed fellow Briton who traded single-seaters for touring cars and is now seeking new opportunities after a year largely spent on the sidelines

DTM
Dec 18, 2021
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
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