It has been a difficult season for the Munich manufacturer in their year of defending all three titles, as the unpredictable nature of the DTM season has given a further spice to the action on track for all concerned. The ninth race of the season, which is the fourth and final trip away from Germany for all involved this year, will hopefully bear fruit for BMW Motorsport this coming weekend.
All four teams will place their efforts towards the Manufacturers’ Championship, as BMW has a slight advantage of just 9 points over Audi, with Mercedes-Benz a further 39 points adrift. Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt says that the team has been given “another boost of motivation,” thanks to the win at Oschersleben by Augusto Farfus a fortnight ago.
“Because of this, we head to Zandvoort with plenty of momentum and have set our sights high for the penultimate race of the 2013 season,” said the former Toyota F1 boss, who is hoping it all goes down to the wire at Hockenheim, knowing that a strong team outing is paramount. “We will do everything in our power to ensure the fans in Hockenheim are treated to a real showdown for the title and that the championship comes down to the final race – just as it did in 2012. And we saw last year what is possible if that is the case.”
Soon-to-be outgoing Champion, Bruno Spengler, who was eliminated from the title fight at Oschersleben, is gunning for victory to help close out this season with a positive attitude: “I have always been quick in Zandvoort. The Circuit Park is a very interesting track, with a lot of undulating sections, hard braking, and some very fast corners. It is also very challenging for the teams, as the circuit is very hard on the tyres and it is difficult to find the right set-up.”
Farfus himself, who is still in the fight with Mike Rockenfeller for the Drivers’ title, said that the key question that everyone is waiting to be answered, is just how long the Hankook option tyres will last at this fast sweeping track: “Of all the circuits in the DTM, this track is the most aggressive on tyres. You can only win if you have the perfect race strategy. I have nothing to lose and go into the weekend fully motivated.”
His teammate at Team RBM, Joey Hand explained about the need for a morale boost at Zandvoort in time for the series finale in Hockenheim. Hand classes the Dutch circuit as the most “American” track on the calendar, with a hope to get a good result this weekend: “The speeds are high and the cars get very close to the walls. It should be a good track for me, so I have high expectations.”
2011 Champion Martin Tomczyk is looking forward to the challenge that Zandvoort will provide, as the weather can deal a very different hand to all the drivers and teams like last year showed. “It is like no other circuit in the DTM. From sand dunes to hills and crests; everything is different to what you find at other circuits. We proved last year that we can be quick there, so I hope we can get another good result there this time round.”
Andy Priaulx loves the “holiday feeling” the circuit provides, due to its immediate proximity to the North Sea coast, but also has that nostalgic feel to it: “The circuit is simply fantastic. It is undulating, fast, and one of the old tracks that still has a lot of character.”
Dirk Werner is also one that loves the location and setting of the track, and has good memories of last year’s race, where he finished in the points, and will be bolstered with motivation, as family relatives will be making the trek to Holland to cheer him on. Nevertheless, he has a clear focus on that task ahead: “It is getting really tight in the Manufacturers’ Championship, so we really have to get our heads together and come up with a good strategy for the race, in order to maintain our lead.”
Team MTEK’s Marco Wittman expressed the fact that Circuit Park Zandvoort is a “natural racetrack,” rather than some of the impressive modern facilities that are appearing hand over fist around the world, but says that the slightest miscalculation can set things off course: “You really need the car’s aerodynamics to be good in the many fast corners. You can both gain and lose a lot of time in these sections. I am determined to exhaust the full potential of our car and get back in the points.”
Timo Glock is looking forward to the comparison of how a DTM car handles around corners he has previously experienced in the times when he was racing in Formula 3, and is hopeful of a good result once again in what has been an impressive start to his journey in the series: “There are a couple of high speed corners, which I think will be quite interesting in a DTM car. I am looking forward to going back to Zandvoort and hopefully we can have a good weekend and grab some points.”
This will be the last time BMW race in Holland with the M3 DTM, before their new challenger is ready for the refreshed and renewed assault for 2014, when the M4 DTM is ready for its international debut in the series. Time is ticking away until the lights go out in the Netherlands, as we see how BMW musters up to its closest rival from Ingolstadt.