Brands Hatch/UK, May 20th, 2012 – This was Gary Paffett’s weekend. After his first place in qualifying on Saturday, the Brit went on to win the race at his home track of Brands Hatch on Sunday in front of an enthusiastic crowd. With this dominant lights-to-flag victory at the tradition-steeped circuit in the south of Great Britain, the Mercedes-Benz driver extended his margin in the drivers’ standings to 25 points from Bruno Spengler.
The BMW driver, who had started from third place, overtook Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) in front of him right away after the start and looked set for a safe second place. However, just before the finish, Spengler significantly slowed down due to a broken front splitter. He was still able to bring his slight margin over Mike Rockenfeller home.
The Audi driver, who had set a fantastic lap time with 41.020 seconds in qualifying, wasn’t able to overtake the handicapped Spengler anymore and eventually crossed the finish line in third place. Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (BMW) ended up fourth to score his best result of the season to date.
At the 1.929 kilometres long track, the shortest circuit on the DTM schedule, the Hankook competition tyres once again showed a perfect performance. The small stones thrown onto the track by the cars after running over the kerbstones were the biggest challenge for the Ventus Race. “Of course, there is a theoretic possibility for these stones to work their way through the surface of the tyre during the race, which could lead to loss of pressure”, Hankook’s race engineer Michael Eckert explained. But the Hankook tyre also mastered this task, showing its usual consistent and fast performance and didn’t have any problems with the edgy and partly damaged kerbstones either.
Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz): “We were on pole position, we have won the race – this was a fantastic weekend. We were able to control the race from up front and especially from the middle of the stints with used tyres, we were considerably faster than the opposition. We were able to do very long and fast stints without the tyres starting to wear.”
Bruno Spengler (BMW): “I had a good start and immediately moved up into second place. The car was running fantastically and the Hankook tyres were very good and consistent. From the start of the stints till the end, I was able to push. The consistency of the tyres is very important to score a good result at Brands Hatch.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi): “I coped very well with the car and the tyres. It was a great race: I had a very good start, two good pit stops and at the end even the chance to overtake Bruno. But he simply didn’t make a mistake. Now, I am going home a happy man and I am looking forward to the next race at Spielberg.”