No rest for the wicked
Munich, 19th August 2012. Following the triumph of Bruno Spengler (CA) at the wheel of his BMW Bank M3 DTM at the Nürburgring (DE), the next challenge for the BMW teams is just around the corner: BMW Motorsport travels highly motivated to the seventh round of the season in Zandvoort (NL), after a strong performance in the Eifel Mountains. .
When the DTM arrives in Zandvoort, it brings with it a real holiday atmosphere – for the fans, at least. Nestled among the dunes, the “Circuit Park Zandvoort” is just a stone’s throw from the North Sea coast. The fine sand blown across the circuit and some strong winds provide a stiff challenge for the teams.
The 4.307-kilometre circuit itself is extremely demanding. Crests, bumps and fast, blind corners make it a real driver’s track. One of the best overtaking opportunities on the undulating circuit in the north of the Netherlands comes at the end of the start/finish straight before the “Tarzan” corner. Zandvoort has welcomed the DTM circus once a year since 2008. Last season, Spengler claimed pole position there.
After six races, Spengler is second in the DTM drivers’ standings with 83 points. Martin Tomczyk (DE) also lies in a promising position, being fourth with 69 points. Augusto Farfus (BR, 17 points), Andy Priaulx (GB, 14), Joey Hand (US, 2) and Dirk Werner (DE,1) follow in positions ten, 12, 17 and 18. In the manufacturers’ standings, BMW took over second place from Audi with 186 points. The gap to Mercedes is 51 points.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director) “Our second win of the year at the Nürburgring proves we are on the right way and well-prepared for the second half of the season. Bruno Spengler and BMW Team Schnitzer’s victory was the icing on the cake at an eventful weekend. Now we head straight to Zandvoort for the next race. The BMW M3 DTM has not been out on the track there yet. Despite this, I am confident we will find our feet quickly there. The success in the Eifel Mountains saw us take a step forward in the overall standings. We want to continue this trend on the North Sea coast.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG) “The last time I was at Zandvoort was at the Formula 3 Masters in 1995. This was my first and last time there. With Martin, of course we are in a very strong position in the championship. For Joey we have set up something special because we really want to have him where he needs to be. That is also at the front and we are still optimistic.“
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer) “After our win at the Nürburgring, we are obviously heading to Zandvoort with the wind in our sails. The Circuit Park is a special racetrack and we always enjoy returning there. We know the circuit from our time in the European Touring Car Championship in the 1970s. We also raced there in the FIA WTCC not all that long ago. The races there were always great and the crowds are very enthusiastic. Two DTM races in a week are obviously hard work. However, our team has a very good rhythm at the moment, so we are really looking forward to the weekend.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM) “Zandvoort is one of those typical tracks, which still has its very own character. It has some very fast corners and some very specific corners. The location is one of the best possible for a track as it is so close to the beach and the fans are everywhere – they can visit both the beach and the track. The Dutch love and understand their motorsport, so we have a very special atmosphere.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG) “Zandvoort is a really great racetrack. The location right on the coast is nice. The scenery there is obviously very attractive. However, that also means sand is blown onto the track. There is always a breeze in Zandvoort. The circuit is not an easy one for us drivers. It has a lot of blind corners, in which you just have to have faith in yourself and take at high speed. I have had some good results in Zandvoort, so I am really looking forward to this race again this year.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG) “It is another new track, but that has become the norm for me in the DTM: I never really know what awaits me at the next race. I got on a simulator in Sacramento and drove it a few days before I left home to get some practice in. It has a lot of fast corners and is similar to Road Atlanta – a circuit I know from the American Le Mans Series. Hopefully I will find my feet quickly in Zandvoort.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer) “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. That makes it particularly difficult to find the perfect set-up. The fans will see an exciting and varied race. It’s great that we move straight to the next race after our victory on Sunday.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer) “I know the circuit in Zandvoort. However, it is now almost six years since I last drove there. The circuit has character and was not designed on the drawing board, but embedded straight into the surrounding landscape. From a driver’s point of view, the circuit poses a tough challenge, solely due to the many quick corners. Hopefully Zandvoort will see me continue the upwards trend I have shown on the last two race weekends.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM) “This is one of the circuits I am looking forward to the most. We have raced there in WTCC and also tested there a lot, so I know it well. I also know from past experience the racing is exciting. It will be a lot of fun in a DTM car and I am especially looking forward to turn five, as this is very fast and needs a lot of commitment. Also the track is sensitive to tyre strategy, so this will keep the team on its toes.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM) “I have been on the podium in Zandvoort in the WTCC. I really like the location right by the sea. I am sure the track must be a lot of fun in a DTM car. Tarzan, the first corner, is really cool. It is a very hard track on the tyres, so tyre management will be crucial.”
Source: BMW Motorsport