Gary Paffett has targeted a podium finish at the very least at the Nurburgring this weekend to get his DTM season back on track.
The HWA Mercedes driver began 2012 as one of the favourites to win the title after only missing out on last year's crown by four points to his teammate Paul di Resta. But a disappointing year, which began with a Hockenheim practice crash that caused him to start from the back of the grid, and featured a fourth place at Lausitz as his best result, have left the 30-year-old Briton down in ninth place in the points.
"I've got off to a rather mixed start to this season, and before my accident at the Norisring [when he lost a certain second place], it was shaping up to be my best result so far this year. Now I'll be doing my best to make up for that at the Nurburgring with my first podium, or maybe even win, of 2011."
Paffet has a strong record at the Nurburgring, having won from pole position there in 2004 and added two more podium finishes at the circuit since. He says it is a circuit that suits his driving style.
"The Nurburgring is very much to my liking – even in the rain, which never comes as a total surprise in the Eifel," he added. "I've already had one win here plus some other good results, and I've always been fast at this track, even in the wet.
"There are not all that many fast corners but there is a sequence of medium-fast and slow turns and some hard braking points. The Nurburgring is by no means an easy track – in fact, it's quite demanding."