Preview: 2018 DTM Series – Zandvoort


DTM - Zandvoort 2017
Credit: DTM Media

The DTM Series returns to action this weekend at Circuit Park Zandvoort for the fifth round of the year.

It also marks the half way point of the season, with the championship heading into its summer break following the event.

Coming to the Dutch track, Mercedes‘ Gary Paffett leads the standings ahead of Edoardo Mortara.

Mortara won last time out at the Norisring after dominating the Saturday, ending fastest in practice and qualifying before taking the race win.

After never taking a podium in his home race, Marco Wittmann managed two last time out with third and the elusive home win he had been after.

Robin Frijns will be hoping Audi can put their problems behind them so he can put on a strong show in his home race.

What Happened Last Time Out at the Norisring?

Going to the Norisring, Timo Glock was leading the championship standings ahead of Paffett.

But before track action had got going the news the paddock had been awaiting broke, the DTM and Super GT had finalised its ‘Class One’ regulations.

The talks had been ongoing since 2014 and open the door for the two series’ to be brought together through measures aimed at cost cutting.

Coming into force in 2019 for the DTM, with Super GT following suit in 2020.

Saturday belong to Mortara who claimed maximum points from the day.

The started with the Italian being quickest in the opening practice session of the day before claiming his first pole position with Mercedes.

He followed it up by taking the victory as well to jump up to second in the championship standings.

On Sunday, Mercedes dominated qualifying with top five all belonging to the manufacturer.

However, it was home favourite Wittmann who ended victorious for BMW but not without intense pressure from Mortara behind.

Managing to hold on meant Wittmann finally won his home race, and now sits third in the standings.

Glock is level on points with his compatriot but as Wittmann has one more race win he is classified as third.

It was another disappointing weekend for Audi, with Nico Müller finishing seventh on Sunday their best result of the weekend.

As a result of their difficult start to the season thus far, Mike Rockenfeller is their best placed driver in the championship in tenth.

What Happened at Zandvoort in 2017?

When the DTM last raced at Zandvoort, the weekend belonged to BMW.

In both qualifying sessions the first three points were locked out by the team.

Glock took the honours on the Saturday to win from pole position to lead a 1-2-3 with Wittmann and Maxime Martin joining him on the podium.

Arriving at the round, Mattias Ekström had been leading the championship standings but after an error leaving the pitlane the Swede had to retire and, eventual champion, René Rast overtook the points lead.

On Sunday, it looked as though Wittmann had brought himself back into play in the championship after winning the race but he was disqualified.

Having started from second on the grid, Wittmann passed polesitter Augusto Farfus into Turn 1 to run off into the lead.

The Bavarian was content to control the pace out front and held station whilst those behind him came in for fresh rubber.

When he eventually served his mandatory pitstop he was able to maintain his track position with Rockenfeller just behind.

The result meant that Wittmann would have been second in the championship standings and with the chance of defending his crown, however in parc ferme a sufficient sample of fuel was not able to be taken from his BMW and he was disqualified as a result.

As a result Rockenfeller was declared the race winner, jumping him to third in the standings, whilst Wittmann remained in eighth in the standings.

You can read the full reports of what happened last year here: Race 1 | Race 2

What is the Schedule?

Friday 13 July

Free Practice 1: 17.00 local time

Saturday 14 July

Free Practice 2: 9.20

Qualifying 1: 11.15

Race 1: 13.30

Sunday 15 July

Free Practice 3: 9.15

Qualifying 2: 11.20

Race 2: 13.30

Where can I Watch the DTM action at Zandvoort?

Fans in the UK are able to watch all sessions live on the DTM Youtube page – remember to select the English streams. It is also streamed live on FaceBook but is with German commentary only.

It is also aired on the FreeSports, but contains adverts.

How Can I Keep up with the Action?

The action from every session as well as any breaking news will be shared here on TCF!