Paul Di Resta is crowned 2010 DTM champion

Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished second in the final race of the 2010 DTM in Shanghai winning his first DTM Championship title. Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) won the Shanghai race and finished the season runner-up ahead of Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) who completed the Mercedes-Benz 1-2-3 success in the drivers’ championship.

Sunday’s result represented the 9th win for Mercedes in a season of 11 DTM rounds, sealing both drivers and manufacturers titles.

This is Paul Di Resta’s first DTM championship title after he had being runner-up in 2008. For Mercedes-Benz, it is the 10th drivers’ title since the brand entered the DTM as a works outfit in 1988: Before this year’s title win, Bernd Schneider had taken six championships, Klaus Ludwig two and Gary Paffett one.

From a family of champions

Di Resta (24) is the cousin of former Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Dario Franchitti, who won the US IndyCar series for the third time and the Indy 500 for the second time in 2010. Paul began racing karts at the age of eight. In 2000, he won the McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future kart series. Three years later, he took part in his first car race in the British Formula Renault. In 2004, he won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award and became a Mercedes-Benz Junior.

The talent runs deep in the Franchitti and Di Resta families. From L-R, Marino Franchitti (multiple race winner for Patron Highcroft Racing in ALMS), Dario Franchitti (IZOD IndyCar Series 2010 Champion, 2007 and 2010 Indy 500 Champion), Paul Di Resta (2010 DTM Champion).

Racing for English team Manor Motorsport, Paul Di Resta entered the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2005, finishing his debut year 10th overall after three pole positions and one podium place. In the following year, he won five races and clinched the championship ahead of the 2010 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

In 2007, Paul moved up to DTM and finished his second race in the championship in second place – with a last year’s car. At the end of that year he was fifth overall. One year later, now racing a new model, Di Resta took his first DTM race win and finished the year runner-up. In 2009, Paul Di Resta was third overall in the DTM and also became test and reserve driver for Force India Mercedes in Formula One.

Driver and team quotes

Paul Di Resta said afterwards, “I am really happy about my DTM title win – a dream came true. I thank my entire team and everybody at Mercedes-Benz for this great season.”

Gary Paffett who won the race said, “It was a tough race and with my win I achieved everything possible. However, I had lost a few points during the season; otherwise the fight with Paul today would have been more exciting. Congratulations to him, he had a great season and deserves the championship.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport said, “A difficult final of a great 2010 DTM season with Paul as the deserved Champion and Gary as the Shanghai winner – for the second time after he had won also the so far only race here in 2004.

“This season, Paul did the best job of all – Bruno Spengler who arrived here as the overall leader would have deserved as well as Gary Paffett – but in the end Paul achieved the well-deserved title win.

“A cordial thank you for the first three places in the championship and nine wins out of 11 races to everybody in the HWA team under Gerhard Ungar, to the Mücke and the Persson team.

“I also want to thank all active and hardworking colleagues who are usually not on the front row – our specialists of organisation, media, marketing and controlling – and, of course, also the ladies in our office, who are always working at real “race speed” day-to-day and always precisely.

“There are no great victories without a great team, and we have a great team.”