DTM 2017: Zandvoort – Race 2

The DTM got the second half of the season under way at Zandvoort in front of 38,000 spectators over the weekend. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM driver Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me) placed sixth in the twelfth race of the season. During the race, he improved by eleven positions from 17th on the grid. Over the final few laps, he even scrapped with Audi drivers Mattias Ekström and Nico Müller for fourth place. The 2005 DTM champion finished in the points in both races staged at the circuit in the dunes. Overall, this was Gary's tenth points-scoring finish in the twelfth race of the 2017 season.

His Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM team-mate Maro Engel (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was on course to secure a top result after an early pit stop when he had to head back to the pits with a damaged tyre. In the end, the winner of the second race in Budapest crossed the finish line in P12.

The two Pink Panthers were also out of luck at Zandvoort. Edoardo Mortara (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished the race behind Engel in P13. Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) came home in 15th place.

An error message popped up on the display of Paul Di Resta's Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM towards the end of the first stint of the race, and he had to retire his car to the pits. Robert Wickens (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me) also retired just a few minutes before the end of the race.

The next race weekend: The DTM is heading from the dune circuit in Zandvoort to the Eifel for the seventh race weekend of the season at the Nürburgring (8th - 10th September).

Comments after the Race

Gary Paffett (36, England):

  • P6
  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me

'That was a mega race for me from P17 on the grid. We didn't expect much after the disqualification, but we had a great strategy. I pushed when I needed to and did my utmost to get past Augusto. I pulled off a great pass on the outside of Turn 1 and went up into sixth place, which was mega. Towards the end, the two Audis of Ekström and Müller were struggling, and Müller was blocking me the whole race to help Eki. I overtook him on the outside of Turn 1, and then Eki just brake tested me out of the corner, and he did the same out of Turn 2 to let Nico back in. That's not fair and I'm pretty disappointed with that move.'

Maro Engel (31, Germany):

  • P12
  • Car number: 63
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'What a shame. The race result is hugely disappointing for me. My car was really super today, but I missed out on what could have been a podium finish. Many thanks to the guys for having given me such a mega car. But most of all, I feel sorry for the whole team - they deserved to have a driver on the podium. But hey, that's motor racing for you. Today, we were out of luck, so now we have to look forward and aim to strike back at the Nürburgring.'

Edoardo Mortara (30, Italy):

  • P13
  • Car number: 48
  • Team: BWT Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'Unfortunately, that was a weekend to forget, especially Sunday. Today was simply awful, and I never want to experience the like again. First the saga with Timo Glock in qualifying, then the puncture in the race... I had high expectations for this weekend, but unfortunately they failed to materialise. Now I simply have to look to the future.'

Lucas Auer (22, Austria):

  • P15
  • Car number: 22
  • Team: BWT Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'We're not too disappointed. We need to sort out one or two issues, so that we can see things clearly, and then we can carry on. As I've always said, sport is like snakes and ladders. One minute you're up, the next, you're down. Ultimately, you have to get through both. We're off next to the Nürburgring, which was good for us last year. I feel quite optimistic about it and am not at all anxious.'

Robert Wickens (28, Canada):

  • retired (P16)
  • Car number: 6
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me

'I had a really good start and was right behind Rocky and Wittmann after Lap 1. I was running in P3 and thinking that life was pretty good. We pitted on Lap 2 along with Green and some others. After the pit stop, Green wanted to be a hero and drove into the side of me in Turn 11. He drove me completely off the track, and then I didn't know where to go. That's why I hit him in Turn 12. I got a puncture and a lot of damage, as a result of which I had to retire the car. It was a really bad weekend from my perspective, because I actually thought I would be able to score some points today.'

Paul Di Resta (31, Scotland):

  • retired
  • Car number: 3
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'I've had better weekends. Yesterday, we were fairly unlucky. We had a bit of an issue and got caught out by a mistake in qualifying, but we managed to recover in the race itself. Today, we were looking very strong in practice. Then we had a technical issue, and the guys did a fantastic job to get the car ready for the race. Unfortunately, the same problem came back and I saw a big warning light up on the dashboard display. We therefore chose to retire the car so as not to compound the problems for the upcoming race weekends.'

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

'Unfortunately, today's race was symbolic of the whole weekend. P6 for Gary is sadly the only positive bit of news for us to report today. Maro, Luggi and Rob each sustained punctures in collisions and had to either make an extra pit stop or retire early from the race. Paul was unable to finish the race either, and Edo was disadvantaged from the start because of the penalty imposed on him. So all in all, it just wasn't our weekend.'

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