10. Juli 2018

From home win to happy stomping ground

Marco Wittmann heads to the sometimes stormy Dutch coast with plenty of momentum, following his first podium and then his maiden home win at the Norisring. The two-time DTM champion is particularly looking forward to races nine and ten of the season at the iconic “Circuit Park” in Zandvoort, which is nestled in the dunes just a stone’s throw from the beach. However, the traditional holiday feel is not the only reason: At few other DTM circuits has Marco Wittmann enjoyed as much success as the 4.307-kilometre Zandvoort track.

Last year, he finished runner-up in Saturday’s race, before crossing the finish line first on the Sunday. However, he was subsequently denied his second victory in Zandvoort, as a mistake made whilst refuelling before the start meant that there was not the required amount of fuel left in his BMW M4 DTM come the end of the race. Despite this, Wittmann still has one win and three podium finishes to his name from eight previous DTM races in Zandvoort and has never finished lower than fifth.

“Zandvoort is one of my favourite circuits. I been more successful in the DTM here than at virtually any other circuit. I have had a few wins and pole positions there in the past. I am really looking forward to it,” says Marco Wittmann, also won in Zandvoort in the Formula 3 Euro Series before switching to the DTM. “I obviously gathered plenty of momentum at the Norisring. After my home races I took a week’s holiday, so I have recharged my batteries.” Wittmann is now well set to continue his charge up the overall standings. Following a practically perfect weekend at the Norisring, the BMW driver is now level on points with fellow BMW man Timo Glock in third place – just seven points behind championship leader Gary Paffett.

Like Wittmann, all the drivers love the “Circuit Park”, an old-school racetrack that is demanding and very varied. Crests and bumps make every lap a rollercoaster ride, while the sand blown across the track by the coastal wind adds its own difficulties. One of the best overtaking opportunities is the “Tarzanbocht”, the first turn at the end of the start/finish straight. However, the track is also very unforgiving: Instead of the asphalted run-off zones found at many modern circuits, it still features classic gravel beds, which can very quickly bring a driver’s race to an end.

DTM TV partner SAT.1 will be live from Zandvoort at 13:00 on both Saturday and Sunday. The races on both days get underway at 13:30. The qualifying sessions on Saturday at 11:15 and Sunday at 11:20, as well as the free practice sessions and the races themselves, will be streamed live on the website www.dtm.com and on the official DTM app.