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Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 15:22 UK

Paffett seeks Brands Hatch glory

Gary Paffett
Gary Paffett hopes to put on a good show at his local track

The DTM German touring car championships makes its annual visit to Great Britain this weekend.

Gary Paffett from Bromley could go top of the standings with a good result at his local track as he looks to lift the title he won in 2005.

The 28-year-old told BBC London 94.9: "There's pretty much nowhere to overtake on the short Indy circuit, so qualifying at the front is vital.

"I'm six points off the lead but with four races to go it's reachable."

The two-make series is a battle between Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

Paffett, who races a 2009 Mercedes C Class, has already taken two victories this season and led the DTM title chase until the last round at Oschersleben earlier this month.

Paffett could only finish eighth after qualifying down the grid due to an engine misfire which meant he slipped back to third in the overall standings behind Audi's Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekstrom.

Gary added: "I've won two races this season, more than anyone else, so we need to start getting back on top, beating the Audis and taking the fight to them.

"The lap times will be so close in qualifying, one-hundredth of a second can be the difference between two or three places on the grid so you need to be perfect and clinical to get yourself at the front of the grid."

Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton will be making a guest appearance at Brands Hatch on Sunday. Paffett is a test driver for the McLaren-Mercedes F1 team and he shares the current concerns about the lack of in-season testing in the sport:

"The good side to it is it saves costs, the bad side is you end up with a situation like Luca Badoer, someone who hasn't driven a car all year and is suddenly racing.

"I think for Jaime Alguersuari and Romain Grosjean it was different - they were racing in other series' but Luca hasn't driven a car all year and it's proved very difficult.

"I think for me it's good I'm racing and doing something else because I know Pedro (de la Rosa, the other McLaren-Mercedes test driver) is certainly missing driving the cars and is worried in his role as chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers Association that we might get the problems that we had with Luca - it's difficult for everyone at the moment."

Gary still has hopes of a full-time F1 drive one day and is managed by two former Grand Prix drivers Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell.

There will be new teams on the grid in 2010 but he's not going to get distracted with his DTM title fight reaching a climax: "At the moment I'm focused on DTM and trying to win the championship and working with McLaren.

"Obviously if an opportunity comes up with another team we'd have to look at it. Martin and Mark are the guys doing the work away from the track to see what's available so they're the ones putting me name to everyone to see what's available."

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see also
02 Nov 09 |  Drivers & Teams
Paffett patient for his F1 chance
07 Sep 08 |  Formula 1
Paffett secures DTM Championship
23 Oct 05 |  Motorsport

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