DTM
18/07/2004
Paffett Wins Ahead Of Schneider
Brit Leads From Start To Finish In China
  
Paffett Wins Ahead Of Schneider

The first race was red-flagged on the first lap after a manhole cover had come off. Bernd Mayländer (CLK AMG-Mercedes) hit the cover damaging his car. For safety reasons, all 72 manhole covers on the track were welded. After five hours, the second race was started.

Starting from his first DTM career pole position Gary Paffett accelerated into an immediate lead. Bernd Schneider improved from sixth to second on the opening lap after a collision involving Audi drivers Tom Kristensen, Martin Tomczyk and Emanuele Pirro. Jean Alesi escaped with body work damages and dropped from second to fourth. During the following laps, Schneider reduced the gap behind Paffett from 3.9sec to 1.2sec on lap eight. Alesi had improved to third.

Albers who had started tenth was seventh ahead of Jarek Janis, Markus Winkelhock and Stefan Mücke in last year's AMG-Mercedes CLKs. On lap 11, Albers passed Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Opel Vectra GTS V8), who had made a mistake under braking at the hairpin, and was sixth. With a number of fast laps Schneider reduced the gap behind Paffett to less than a second and posted the fastest lap of the race with a 1:13.189 on lap 22.

However, passing was not possible and Paffett won ahead of Schneider. Alesi was passed by Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM) on lap 19 and finished fourth. Albers came sixth. Janis (Sonax Dark Dog AMG-Mercedes) scored his best DTM result ending up eighth ahead of Winkelhock (Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes) and Mücke (CLK AMG-Mercedes).

Gary Paffett:
"I'm really happy to win the first DTM race in China. It's a victory I will always remember. I thank the entire team for giving me a perfect car."

Bernd Schneider:
"Following the repairs the track met the DTM standards. After the first-corner incident I was second and pushed throughout, unfortunately it was not possible to overtake. It was a spectacular and unforgettable race between all the skyscrapers."

Jean Alesi:
"A very special race. It's a shame that I didn't make to the podium after starting second."




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