|The DTM season-opener at Hockenheim saw Gary Paffett and Timo Glock opened the win column for Mercedes and BMW. Paffett took the win in the opening race, while Glock scored the remarkable win against Paffett in the main race.|
In the main race, Glock and Paffett battled for the lead for many laps and staged a fierce and extremely thrilling door-to-door duel with countless position changes until the end. It was Glock’s fifth DTM career win. Paffett would lose a spot to Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller on the final lap to end up third. “This was the coolest race of my life. This was pure racing, I really had to squeeze everything out of the car and I didn’t have time to relax. That is what is typical for the DTM. This was the best race ever, and I have done many races in my career,” said Glock.
Behind the top trio, DTM rookie Joel Eriksson just missed out on his maiden podium finish in fourth place. Having started from third on the grid, the Swede appeared to be on course for a podium finish in his second DTM race, but didn’t find a way past stalwart Paffett on the final lap. Another Swede caused plenty of action for the final time at Hockenheim. As a guest driver, Mattias Ekström participated in his final DTM race, in which he even briefly led the field as he was the last driver to head into the pits for a tyre change. Only 19th at the finish, his main focus was on bidding farewell to his fans in a suitable way. After 197 DTM races, he showed doughnuts in front of the south grandstand and then, with tears of emotion, climbed onto the roof of his Audi RS 5 DTM.
Glock leads the drivers’ standings with 44 points, just ahead of Paffett (43), Rockenfeller, Lucas Auer and Pascal Wehrlein; each tied at 18 points.
In the opening race, the most experienced driver in the field Gary Paffett emerged as the winner; after 36 laps. The Mercedes-AMG driver won the first of this season’s 20 DTM races with a margin of 1.449 seconds from Auer, who came second. Third place went to Glock. Reigning DTM champion Rene Rast was the best placed Audi in ninth.
Paffett had to wait long for his 21st DTM race win, since 13 June 2013, when he scored a win at the Lausitzring. “After this long drought, this victory is a really special one. The early pit stop was the key to success. The car was really great.”
The next DTM bout is set for the Lausitzring, from 18–20 May.