DTM Hockenheim: Paul Di Resta Runner-up
Paul Di Resta finished the 11th and final round of the 2008 DTM at Hockenheim in second place and ended the season runner-up in the championship. Race win and title went to Timo Scheider (Audi).
Within the last five races, Paul Di Resta won once and came home second four times; thus he scored more points than any other driver during this period. In the end, he was four points behind Scheider.
The team Mercedes-Benz Bank/AMG Mercedes with Paul Di Resta and Bruno Spengler won the teams‘ championship with 109 points ahead of Abt (Tom Kristensen/Timo Scheider) on 102 points.
Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished the race in third place ahead of Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class).
Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished his DTM career – 227 races for Mercedes-Benz from 1991 until 2008 – in sixth place.
Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home 11th in the race and ninth in the championship with 13 points; he ist he best driver with a last year's car.
Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 12th; Ralf Schumacher came home 14th in the last race of his DTM debut year. Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) retired on the second lap after their cars had been severely damaged in collisions with other cars.
A total of 165,000 spectators attended the 2008 DTM seasonal finale at Hockenheim during the weekend – a bigger crowd than ever before in a DTM event.
The start: Paul Di Resta started second on the grid, ahead of Scheider. Jamie Green had qualified fourth followed by Bernd Schneider and Bruno Spengler. Paul had not such a good start and was third behind Scheider and Ekström at the first corner. At the end of the opening lap, Jamie was second ahead of Paul. Lap 2: Susie Stoddart and Mathias Lauda pitted with their cars damaged after collisions and spins; both retired. Lap 3: Paul Di Resta overtook Jamie Green at the hairpin and moved up to second place. Afterwards he reduced the gap behind Scheider. Lap 9: Bruno Spengler and Bernd Schneider came in for their respective first pit stops. Lap 10: Paul Di Resta took the lead following Scheider's first pit stop. Lap 12: Paul Di Resta came in for his first stop and resumed behind Scheider. Jamie Green pitted one lap later. Lap 17: Paul Di Resta and Bernd Schneider pitted simultaneously; Scheider came in one lap later. Afterwards, Paul was again behind Scheider. Lap 19: Respective second pit stops by Jamie Green and Bernd Schneider. Lap 27: All drivers had completed their mandatory pit stops; Scheider was 3.5sec ahead of Paul Di Resta. Finish (lap 37): Paul Di Resta crossed the finish line in second position behind Scheider and ended the season runner-up in the championship. Jamie Green came home third ahead of Bruno Spengler; Bernd Schneider finished his final DTM race in sixth place.
Paul Di Resta (2008 AMG Mercedes C-Class), second: "First of all congratulations to Timo Scheider. He deserved to win the title. However, I am disappointed how two Audi drivers acted. Mattias Ekström tried to push me off track not only once, but twice. I am not known for complaining quickly or being somebody who cannot lose. After my second pit stop I would have had a chance to close in on Timo, but Martin Tomczyk blocked me. However, I am still satisfied with second place. We had a very good second half of the season and caught up; unfortunately it was not enough, but I am happy with my team and myself." Jamie Green (2008 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), third: "On the first lap at the hairpin, Mattias Ekström blocked the inner line; when Paul went to the outside, Ekström tried to push him aside – I already know these manoeuvres by him from Barcelona. I was able to pass on the inside and was second. When Paul closed in I didn't want to obstruct his race. This year I have won twice and until two races ago I was still in contention for the title. Unfortunately I also had a problem with Ekström at Bercaelona and lost my chances for the championship." Bruno Spengler (2008 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), fourth: "My car was great and if I hadn't lost an aerodynamic part in the beginning, I could have been faster. It's a shame that Paul didn't make it – he and the team would have deserved it." Bernd Schneider (2008 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class), sixth: "Well done Timo Scheider winning the championship title. Paul also had a great season and would have deserved it. My race today was not perfect, but it was great fun, particularly during the last couple of laps. It was great to see the fans on the Mercedes-Benz grandstand say ‚good-bye‘. I want to thank everybody, especially my team – they have been and still are good friends and are like a family for me." Gary Paffett (2007 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 11th: "My race was quite ok; however, I struggled with oversteer and was not able to move up." Maro Engel (2007 JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), 12th: "I had an exciting fight with Gary, which was great fun." Ralf Schumacher (2007 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), 14th "On the first lap of the race I damaged the front splitter and therefore I was not able to improve. However, all in all I am quite satisfied with my DTM debut year. I scored points on two occasions with my last year's car which is quite ok." Susie Stoddart (2007 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), retired with a damaged car after a collision: "First Katherine Legge touched me really hard, then Christijan Albers spun into my car – I had no chance to avoid him. My car was badly damaged and I was not able to continue." Mathias Lauda (2007 Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class), retired with a damaged car after a collision: "It was like a chain reaction– Winkelhock hit Albers, Albers hit me. My bonnet went flying and the front of my car was severely damaged, so I had to retire."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Congratulations to Timo Scheider and his team; Timo deserved the title. Paul drove a great race, although he was handicapped after the first-lap incidents; the damages to his car didn't make him faster. We have a good season behind us. Our 2008 C-Class scored more points than the 2008 car of the competition and therefore our team won the teams' championship – so there is no reason to be sad. Thank you to the HWA team led by Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jürgen Mattheis. Paul was a sample for consistency; in the last five races of the second half of the season he achieved one victory and four second places and thus more points than any other driver during this period. "It was a good finale with packed grandstands and a new record crowd, and so it was also a good end of the season. On behalf of all of us I want to thank the ITR and the organisers of the Hockenheimring for their efforts – there were significantly more spectators than at the Formula 1 grand prix in summer and all responsible persons can be proud of that."