Leader going into the dunes

13. Juli 2016 Zurück zur Artikelübersicht »

The home outing at the Norisring earned Marco Wittmann the lead in the DTM Drivers’ Championship – and it is precisely this lead that the BMW driver is looking to defend, and ideally to extend, at the race weekend in Zandvoort. “Zandvoort has always suited me so far. Therefore, I hope we can put on another good show and be successful this time too. It is fantastic to compete as the championship leader again. It is now important for us to push hard and again score points in Zandvoort”, says Wittmann.

Last year, he enjoyed a very successful weekend at the Dutch circuit on the North Sea coast near Amsterdam. Wittmann claimed the first victory of the 2016 season for BMW Motorsport in the Saturday race. And it proved to be a historic win, as the German driver led home a train of seven BMW M4 DTMs. Never before had one manufacturer enjoyed such dominance in a DTM race.

The 4.307-kilometre track in Zandvoort appears to suit Wittmann. Even before his victory in 2015, he had finished runner-up in 2014 and won a race in the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2011. The “Circuit Park” is an old-school track. With its crests and bumps, each lap is like a rollercoaster ride. The sand that is blown across the track by the coastal wind is a unique feature. The “Tarzanbocht”, the first turn at the end of the start/finish straight, represents one of the best overtaking opportunities.

The circuit is very popular among the drivers, because it is demanding and very varied. However, it is also utterly unforgiving. Unlike at many modern tracks, Zandvoort does not feature any asphalt run-off zones. Instead, there are classic gravel beds, which can soon bring a driver’s race to a premature end.

The race on Saturday promises to feature a special atmosphere, as it starts at the unfamiliar time of 18:08 (live on ARD from 17:45). On Sunday, Marco Wittmann will take his place in the grid in the early afternoon again, as the race gets underway at 13:43 (live on ARD from 13:30).