Scotsman Paul Di Resta took the German touring car (DTM) championship lead today at Hockenheim, after his third race win in a row. The Mercedes DTM driver, due to move into a full-time F1 seat with Force India in 2011, was able catch and pass pole-sitter Timo Scheider who was joined on the podium by fellow-Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller.
“Today, it was a surprising victory. The start wasn’t great, but the car was unbeatable and the speed was simply incredible. Fortunately, I was still able to catch Timo Scheider. Of course, finishing in front of him was particularly important. We hope that we an now stay on top. It is quite a close call between Bruno and me. However, I am now full of confidence and I will do my best”, said Di Resta after the sixth victory of his career in the DTM series.
Fellow-Brit Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), who started the race from the second row, ended just outside the podium in fourth in what was the final DTM race of the season in Germany. With just 2 races remaining (Adria & Shanghai), Di Resta is now leading in the drivers’ standings with 63 points from Spengler (60) and Paffett (49).
“This success really makes us feel well. We had a perfect strategy and we witnessed a very exciting race. Now, we know that we will win the title. However, I think that we will only find out in Shanghai who will be the new DTM champion. We will have a small party tonight, though.” said Norbert Haug, Head of Motorsport for Mercedes-Benz.
2009 DTM champion and Audi driver Mattias Ekström retired early from the race, ruling out his chances of retaining his title – it now means that only a Mercedes driver can be champion in 2010.[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]Norbert Haug – Now, we know that we will win the title.[/blockquote]
Head of Motorsport for Audi, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich said: “After Eki had retired, it was clear to us that we wouldn’t be able to go for the title anymore. We still had hopes of winning the race. At the start of the season, we had a good performance, but we have given away too many points. Halfway through the season, we had a low in which the performance wasn’t right. Now, we are back at the right performance level again.”