The winner of the 2012 DTM season opener at Hockenheim is British driver Gary Paffett (Thomas Sabo Mercedes AMG C-Coupé). He was ranked sixth on the grid but he then took a 4.7- second lead on Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé). This is the 18th win of Paffett in the DTM. It’s also his fourth victory at Hockenheim.
Throughout Paffett’s career, this would be his 26th podium in the 82nd DTM race and his seventh in a DTM race at Hockenheim. Paffett’s 18 wins and a 22% winning rate mean that he has the highest number of wins among the drivers that are competing at the DTM. This is Paffett and Green’s 100th one-two victory for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM since 1988. This is the sixth straight win of Mercedes at the home race in Hockenheim (opener and finale).
This is the automaker’s third consecutive win of DTM season opener (Paffett 2010 and 2012, and Bruno Spengler, 2011). Since 1988, Mercedes-Benz has racked up 32 overall wins of 65 DTM races at the Hockenheimring. In this same period, Mercedes-Benz drivers won a total of 166 times in 343 DTM races. But in the three-way rivalry between Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Paffett’s win is the first during the new DTM era.
This marks the first win for the new DTM Mercedes AMG C Coupé, which succeeds the AMG Mercedes C-Class, the most successful vehicle throughout DTM’s history with 85 wins in 159 races. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) had moved up from 15th on the grid to end the race in fourth place.
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished seventh while David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) placed eighth. Twelfth place went to Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) while Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) was at the 14th position. DTM rookie Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) had to retire from the race.
Looking at its front section, it is clear that despite the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé having a similar style as that of the newest C-Class, it uses a different approach. A dominant feature of this section is the radiator grill surround, which is now more pronounced, and the bumper. This grille has the double-louvre design one would expect from a coupe and its visual base unit is due to the air intake in the center, whose opening is pointed upwards.
There is still the center star but on both sides of it are two louvres, in chrome, that narrow toward the outer edges of the front. This helps create that arrow-shaped and athletic horizontal sweep, allowing the front end to have a V-shape that is more pronounced. The louvres in the front go all the way to the sides running under its headlamps and then slowly merging with the feature lines that are on the sides.
This particular design actually links the front section of the C-Class Coupé with that of its side. There are also air intakes on the side and these have been integrated to the bumper. With the bumper having the daytime running lamps horizontal placed and positioned lower, these results in the model having a look as if it is hugging the road. Giving off a dynamic feel are the clear-lens headlamps and how they are shaped.
When combined with the bumper trim, radiator grille, and bonnet, they help highlight this section of the vehicle. Going to the rear section, the C-Class Coupé clearly has that sporty feel.
This is because of how the roof is able to flow just after the rear axle. In addition, with the fluid C-pillars and the steeply raked window in the rear, this section looks as if its length has been cut. Using the side panel as the base, the boot lid’s top has a wide chamfer which puts focus on the compactness of this section. Meanwhile by putting the tail lights as far from each other, the width is highlighted.
By putting the LED indicator in the center, a feeling of depth is created. With the upper and lower light band both in red, and the fact that their LEDs are more deeply set, the LED indicator looks as if it is floating in front of them.
This deep-set and wide effect is highlighted even more by the bumpers, especially the horizontal and continuous curves that managed to catch light. Further, in the middle of the tailpipe trim of the exhaust system is the AMG rear skirt which ensures that the rear section appears lighter. It also gives it dynamic characteristics and unique sporty quality.