Di Resta Wins on Home Soil to Cut Paffett’s Advantage in the DTM Championship

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Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett: 2018 DTM Series - Brands Hatch
Credit: Craig Robertson

It was a British 1-2 in the DTM Series’ return to Brands Hatch with Paul di Resta leading home Gary Paffett in Race 2.

Joining the duo on the podium was Audi‘s René Rast.

At the start a difficult launch for Paffett allowed di Resta to run side-by-side with him with the latter snatching the lead at Druids.

Further back, Robin Frijns ends up in the barrier deploying the safety car but the Dutchman managed to remove himself to carry on.

The incident was caused by Lucas Auer getting sideways and making contact with Frijns – with the incident under investigation.

Augusto Farfus also received heavy damage as a result of the collision.

Racing resumed at the end of lap three with the Indy style restart, with di Resta dictating the pace.

Di Resta got the jump on the field with Pascal Wehrlein briefly taking second from Paffett but dropped back behind the Briton.

René Rast got wide on the grass but managed to maintain fifth with Wittmann gaining sixth off of the damaged Farfus.

Wehrlein, Wittmann, Loïc Duval, Nico Müller and Bruno Spengler were the first to pit at the end of the first racing lap.

Rast and Timo Glock pitted the next lap with Rast coming out ahead of Wehrlein.

Jamie Green was handed a black and white flag for forcing another driver off the track.

Farfus came in for his pitstop with BMW opting to tape up the Brazilian’s bonnet.

Wehrlein too was handed a black and white flag for forcing a driver off track.

Paffett came in from second place with the Mercedes coming out in clear air.

Di Resta served his stop the lap after Paffett and maintained his lead over his countryman.

Out front, yet to stop Green was leading from Mike Rockenfeller, Edoardo Mortara, Auer, Joel Eriksson and Frijns with  di Resta the leader of the mandatory stoppers behind.

It was a disaster for Mortara who did not have the rear right attached when he tried to pull away from his pitstop, costing the Italian valuable time. The Mercedes driver rejoined in seventeenth as a result.

From second on track, Rockenfeller pitted for Audi having to settle for twelfth on track behind Loïc Duval.

The final Mercedes to stop of Auer,  stopped the following lap with him fourteenth on track.

After a second place finish yesterday, Farfus pulled into the pits to retire his car.

Frijns, pitted for fresh rubber at the end of lap 24 with the Dutchman being demoted to fifteenth.

Rockenfeller moved himself into eighth on track with a move on brand-mate Duval.

Further back, Auer made a move on Müller to take twelfth place.

Rockenfeller was on a charge, passing Philipp Eng to move himself further up the order.

In the lead, Green was lapping quicker than those who had already come into the pits as the Briton tried to put himself in the best position for his stop.

At the end of lap thirty, Green finally came in for fresh rubber coming out ahead of Wehrlein but the Mercedes driver and then Wittmann got pass him.

The battle between Green and Wittmann was placed under investigation under the Audi driver forced the BMW onto the grass.

Di Resta was now into the lead with Paffett and Rast close to his rear.

On much younger tyres Green was challenging Wittmann for the place back but the Audi driver was handed a drive through penalty for forcing Wittmann off the track.

The Briton came in the following lap, putting the longtime race leader down in fifteenth.

After his woes yesterday, Duval suffered a rear left puncture on the main straight and had to navigate the lap with three tyres.

Rockenfeller was trying to find his way through on Wittmann but the BMW driver defended hard against his countryman.

Duval made it back to the pits but the Frenchman was running in last place.

The top three were nose to tail with Rast sizing up a move on Paffett, allowing di Resta to just edge away from the pair.

Wittmann was making his M4 as wide as possible to hold onto his fifth place ahead of Rockenfeller.

Di Resta had done enough to win his second race of the season by just over a second from championship leader Paffett.

Rast completed the podium for Audi.

It was a lonely fourth place for Wehrlein as Wittmann held off Rockenfeller for fifth.

Eng was seventh.

Auer recovered from his difficult start for eighth ahead of team-mate Dani Juncadella. 

The top ten was completed by Müller.

Di Resta has cut Paffett’s championship advantage by seven points to 29 points as Wittmann moves himself up into third in the standings.

The next round of the DTM takes place 24-26 August at Misano for the first ever DTM night races and Alex Zanardi‘s series debut.

2018 DTM Series Results: Brands Hatch – Race 2

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An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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