DTM 2017: Zandvoort Preview


Credit: Hans-Dieter Seufert

After a month off from track action the DTM Series returns this weekend at the Circuit Park Zandvoort.

Last time out at the Moscow RacewayMaro Engel claimed his maiden victory in the series after a chaotic race in which the German started from the last row of the grid.

Audi and Mercedes claimed the victories in the Netherlands last year with Robert Wickens and Jamie Green taking to the top steps. Marco Wittmann was the only BMW driver to make an appearance on the podium.

Mattias Ekström currently leads the championship standings despite not having claimed a victory so far this season.

The Swede is seen as the king of Zandvoort having stood on the winners’ podium four times – the most recent of which in 2014.

“Zandvoort is absolutely cool, the new tarmac is supposed to make for a high grip level. If you believe the crystal ball this should be an advantage for our rivals. Nonetheless, I will try hard to secure good grid positions.” 

Second in the championship sits team-mate Rene Rast who is one point behind Ekström in the standings. The German made his DTM debut at Zandvoort last season before entering his first full season this year with many stand out results including two victories.

“It’s a real racetrack for men. Tight run-off areas, a lot of fast corners. That’s exactly what racing drivers really like.”

Mercedes’ Lucas Auer remains ever present in the championship after leading from the early rounds.

The Austrian will be optimistic of a strong result following his Formula One test at the Hungaroring with Sahara Force India.

“A lot has happened since the previous race weekend in Moscow, but I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of a DTM car again and getting stuck in to the second half of the season. The Zandvoort circuit is a lot of fun, and I’ll be interested to see what the new track surface is like. I’m aiming to finish in the Top 18!”

Leading the challenge for BMW is Maxime Martin who stormed to victory in the second race at the Norisring backing up a pole position and second place the day before.

Moscow was not so nice to the Belgian who did not score any points.

 “We will face different challenges in Zandvoort to those we have encountered at the previous circuits. It is not really possible to make any kind of prediction this year. The current DTM season has shown that. I hope I fare better here than last time out in Moscow.”

Saturday will mark Bruno Spengler‘s 150th race in the DTM Series.

“Zandvoort always is special, the atmosphere is great as the race meeting always is attended by many true motor-racing enthusiasts. In addition there is the wind that always is blowing wind onto the track. Therefore, the conditions can change from one lap to the other. But that’s a part of this event.

 “We will face different challenges in Zandvoort to those we have encountered at the previous circuits. It is not really possible to make any kind of prediction this year. The current DTM season has shown that. I hope I fare better here than last time out in Moscow.”

Free Practice starts at 17.00 on Friday before the action kicks off properly on Saturday, with another practice session at 9.45 before qualifying for race 1 at 11.40.