Gary Paffett is adamant that he is not out of the DTM title hunt, despite losing significant ground on series leader Mike Rockenfeller during the past two races.
The Briton lay only 12 points behind Audi driver Rockenfeller and BMW's defending champion Bruno Spengler after taking victory at Lausitz in June. But Rockenfeller's drive to fifth from the back row of the grid at the Norisring and a victory at Moscow last time out has helped the Phoenix Audi man to open up a 27-point advantage over Spengler at the head of the field.
Paffett, whose championship total has suffered largely as a result of a penultimate-lap collision with Edoardo Mortara while scrapping for third at the Norisring, is third in the standings, 37 points behind Rockenfeller.
With 25 points available for a win and four races left, the 2005 champion is determined to begin closing the gap at the Nurburgring this weekend.
"We all know the Nurburgring from the years and years of coming here," Paffett said. "And that's why I'm convinced we can rediscover the form we've been showing in previous races. I'm third in the championship and I firmly believe that the results in the last few races have not ruled me out of contention."
Paffett won at the Nurburgring in 2004 while Spengler has three DTM victories at the track. Rockenfeller's best finish at the track was third in 2011.