Just one week after the race at Nürburgring, the DTM is ready to race at Zandvoort. BMW driver Bruno Spengler stood on top of the podium last weekend.
“I really like the circuit in Zandvoort. I find it interesting, but also a bit old-fashioned compared to the modern racetracks. Zandvoort requires a flowing driving style, but the many quick corners are not easy. Then you also have the wind and the sand blowing over the circuit. As such, the track conditions can change quite quickly,” said Spengler.
The past DTM seasons have meant Audi territory at Zandvoort and Mattias Ekström one of the most successful drivers there, hoping to turn around the poor results of recent.
“Zandvoort is one of my favorite tracks. I’ve driven many races there and have a lot of fond memories – for instance of my first DTM victory in 2002. After a few weekends on which we found ourselves struggling I’m hoping for a straightforward and solid race,” said Ekström.
Championship leader Gary Paffett had a surprisingly tough weekend at Nürburgring, qualifying 11th and finishing 6th, and is looking to get back on to the podium to answer on Spengler’s charge for the lead.
“I’ve already won three times there and really love racing at the dune circuit. The track offers a good mix of fast and slow turns – this variety gives me a lot of pleasure as a driver, and so I’m really looking forward to climbing back into the cockpit just one week after the Nürburgring. Hopefully, I can build on my previous good results at this track and achieve another top-three finish after two races without a podium,” said Paffett.
Zandvoort marks the eighth race of 2012 and a mere three races remains after. While Mercedes has commanded the first part of the season, Mercedes Vice-President of Motorsport Norbert Haug is not relaxing for the final part.
“The three-way tussle for top honours between the manufacturers and their drivers is more exciting than ever, since half of the field are podium contenders at Zandvoort, but just some minor error or a setup that proves to be unsuitable in qualifying can ruin your chance of success.
Let me give you an example: in the last race at the Nürburgring, Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekström and Gary Paffett, three well-proven exponents of the art of DTM racing who have achieved a total of five championships between them, were only in P10, 11 and 12 on the grid. That shows how tough the competition is in the DTM, and we realise therefore that in Zandvoort we must be suitably prepared from the very first practice lap to defend our championship lead in all the three categories that are being contested,” said Haug.