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The Nurburgring 24 hours wasn’t the only racing this weekend. Britain saw an army of Actros trucks deliver the DTM race series to Brands Hatch - the only British round of Germany’s Touring Car Championship. And what a spectacle…

Taking place on the shorter ‘bullring’ Indy circuit, the Teutonic trio of Audi, Mercedes and BMW, scraped, sparked and spat flames from their side-exhausts for 97 laps until the chequered flag was waved and Mercedes driver Gary Paffett won the 19th race of his DTM career. It was also his first on home soil.

Paffett, who now has two wins and one second place in the opening three races of the season, was joined on the podium by BMW’s Bruno Spengler and Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller.

Spengler was catching Paffett (who started on pole) but as we’ve learnt before, aerodynamics are king in DTM. So when Spengler’s left-front splitter went a bit breaky, he lost vital car balance and concentrated on fending off Rockenfeller in his Audi A5 to bring the matte black M3 home in second.

Further down the grid, former F1 driver David Coulthard finished 15th, while the other Schumacher, Ralf, came home in 19th.

The silhouette racers with their 500hp 4.0-litre V8s - and 1,050kg kerbweight - tore round Brands’ baby course seven seconds faster than a British Touring Car, averaging 104mph. All the while dispensing as much fire from their side-exit exhausts and scraping their undertrays on every kerb possible. Of course.

Check out the race gallery for yourself by making your mouse do a clicky noise over the blue NEXT button above, and look out for our exclusive drive with Jenson Button from Sunday later in the week…

Words and pictures: Rowan Horncastle

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