Great sportsman and nice guy
With 185 DTM races, 23 race wins, 48 podiums and 17 poles under his belt, Gary Paffett retired from DTM for good after having added his second title to the one he won in 2005. For one and a half decade, the Mercedes-AMG ace left his mark on DTM like nearly no other driver. After his triumph, DTM.com talked with drivers of all the three camps to find out what the drivers racing for Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG had to say about the Briton. The result turned out to be an homage to a man who first of all impressed with his fair sportsmanship – towards team-mates and rivals in equal measure.
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi): That’s fantastic, I’m really happy for him. Gary is a cool guy and has been racing in DTM for such a long time – he really deserved to win this title. He is an extreme racer and always was extremely tough and fair at the same time, out there on the track. As I see it a really great approach. He always was committed to the max and racing was big fun for him. Gary also had to cope with difficult years and long dry spells but he just kept on fighting.”
Nico Müller (Audi): “Congratulations! Gary delivered in great style throughout the season. You just have to take your hat off. He is a driver who never gives up and tries to squeeze the maximum out of every situation. If everything runs well he always is a potential race winner. He proved that this year and is the well-deserved champion. A feat that is achieved by only very few drivers.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW): “Gary did a fantastic job, this year. He absolutely deserved to be the new champion. If you battled it out with him on the track you always could be sure that he wouldn’t make any stupid, dangerous moves. I wish him all the best and success for his new adventure, Formula E. He always was a great sportsman and I will miss him.”
Philipp Eng (BMW): “Gary really deserved to win the title.Before joining DTM I only had seen him on TV shows and never met him in person. Apart from my fellow BMW drivers he was the first who respected my performance and regarded me as an opponent to be reckoned. We had one or two great battles, this year and always left one another enough space. He is a super-nice guy.”
Bruno Spengler (BMW): “I’m so happy for Gary and congratulate him on his second title. He can look back on a fantastic season. He has got what it takes to deliver in every weather condition, no matter if it’s dry or raining. That’s something distinguishing him. And he had a great car. Together they represented a 50:50 combination that worked extremely well. To have won the title in his final season is great for him and Mercedes-AMG.”
Lucas Auer (Mercedes-AMG): “He did an outstanding job and is the deserved champion. I still can recall my first DTM season. He helped me a lot, in that year. That’s not typical for a team-mate. He wanted me to deliver on the track as fast as possible. I will never forget this help.”