Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted January 22, 2014 07:17
Mercedes-Benz fielding two former DTM champions in line-up with Di Resta and Gary Paffett
After an unsuccessful stint in Formula 1, Paul di Resta will be going back to what he does best. The young Scot previously competed in the world's most popular international touring car series for the Mercedes-Benz from 2007 to 2010, securing six wins, six pole positions and seven fastest laps from 42 races. After clinching the DTM title at the season finale in Shanghai in 2010, Di Resta switched to Formula 1, where he contested 58 grands prix for Sahara Force India Mercedes (2011-2013), scoring 121 championship points.
Mercedes-Benz is looking very formidable with two former DTM champions in the new 2014 DTM season. In addition to Paul di Resta, they will also have the services of 2005 DTM champion, Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé). The duo will strengthen the squad of drivers at Mercedes-Benz, as Daimler prepares to mark its 120th anniversary of competition in motor racing this year in fine style.
Di Resta and Mercedes-Benz go back a long way – the Scot won the McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future Kart series in 2000. He became a Mercedes-Benz junior four years later, moving up in 2005 to the Formula 3 Euro Series, which he won with the Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engine in his second season, beating off competition from four-time Formula 1 world championship title holder, Sebastian Vettel.
Di Resta, along with fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett, is one of seven former DTM champions, who have so far confirmed their participation in the 2014 DTM season. During testing in Portimão on Tuesday, Di Resta will take to the wheel of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé to begin preparing for the DTM season opener in Hockenheim on the weekend of 3rd-4th May 2014.
"It feels really good to be back in the DTM and to see so many familiar faces again. The DTM is a fantastic racing series with three strong premium brands, a very competitive field and a very evenly matched bunch of drivers. I'm really looking forward to working with the whole Mercedes-Benz DTM team and being part of another championship challenge. Much has changed since my last DTM race in Shanghai in 2010 with new cars, a new set of rules and a third manufacturer, but what has not changed is my enormous appetite for success. Mercedes-Benz has given me a car that I can use to fight for wins and the title. However, I realise that it will not be easy. My competitors already have two years of experience with the new generation of vehicles, but, starting with today's first test, I'll be going flat out in order to be capable of winning at the Hockenheim season opener in early May," said Paul Di Resta.
"Paul Di Resta has been a member of the Mercedes-Benz family for many years, and we are delighted that he is returning to the fold this season to further strengthen our DTM squad. Paul has learned a lot during the past few years in Formula 1, and, together with Gary Paffett we now have two experienced drivers in our team, who have already won the DTM title with Mercedes-Benz and can put their knowledge to good use on the track, whilst passing on hints and tips to our Mercedes juniors," said Toto Wolff, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.