|16. August 2017||Zurück zur Artikelübersicht »|
The energy drink made by his sponsor Red Bull is not the only thing that regularly gives Marco Wittmann wings when the DTM travels to Zandvoort. The traditional holiday vibe around the “Circuit Park” racetrack, nestled in the dunes just a stone’s throw from the Dutch North Sea coast, seems to inspire the two-time DTM champion. Wittmann’s record at the 4.307-kilometre circuit is an impressive one.
Having already triumphed there in the Formula 3 Euro Series back in 2011, the German driver finished as high as fifth in his first DTM race at the circuit in the dunes in 2013. One year later, second place in Zandvoort was instrumental in Wittmann claiming his first DTM title. The Saturday race in 2015 yielded his first DTM victory on the Dutch coast – at the head of a seven-strong chain of BMW M4 DTMs. Last year, the BMW driver finished second and fourth to score valuable points en route to his second title. Wittmann’s six DTM races so far in Zandvoort have produced one victory and a further two podium finishes, and the man from the Franconia region of Germany has never finished outside the top five.
“I have very fond memories of Zandvoort, and have enjoyed a lot of great success there in the past, including my first pole position in the DTM, one race win and several podiums,” said Wittmann. Like most of his fellow drivers, he enjoys the trip to the North Sea coast: “I like the circuit. It has a lot of fast corners and the surrounding dunes make it a kind of natural racetrack. I hope to have another good weekend there. We have definitely been on the up since the Norisring. Let’s hope that continues in Zandvoort.” Third and sixth place last time out in Moscow have moved Wittmann into seventh place in the championship with 72 points.
“Circuit Park” is an old-school racetrack. Its crests and bumps make every lap a rollercoaster ride. A unique feature is the sand, which the coastal breeze blows onto the racing surface. One of the best overtaking opportunities comes at the “Tarzanbocht”, the first corner at the end of the start/finish straight. The circuit is very popular among the drivers, because it is both demanding and very varied. However, it is also very unforgiving. Unlike at many modern racetracks, there are no asphalt run-off zones. Instead, the track has classic gravel beds, which can soon bring a driver’s race to a premature end.
Saturday’s race gets underway at 14:45 German time (live on ARD from 14:30). Prior to this, the first points of the weekend and the top grid positions will be up for grabs in qualifying, which starts at 11:40 (live on ONE from 11:35). Wittmann and his five fellow BMW drivers return to the track for qualifying at 12:00 on Sunday (live on ONE from 11:55). Race two begins at 15:15 (live on ARD from 15:00).