DTM

Zandvoort: Ekstrom fastest in first practice

Abt-Audi and Opel strong at Zandvoort During the first encounter of the DTM racing drivers at the ninth and penultimate round of the season at the 4.3 kilometres long Circuit Park Zandvoort/NL, the Abt-Audi and Opel-drivers were setting the...

Abt-Audi and Opel strong at Zandvoort

During the first encounter of the DTM racing drivers at the ninth and penultimate round of the season at the 4.3 kilometres long Circuit Park Zandvoort/NL, the Abt-Audi and Opel-drivers were setting the pace: after 90 minutes, last year's winner Mattias Ekström was the man on top. With the Abt-Audi TT-R, he outpaced Laurent Aiello (also Abt-Audi) by half a second. Third place was occupied by fellow Audi-driver Karl Wendlinger from the championship's runner-up, local hero Christijan Albers with the AMG-Mercedes CLK.

In fifth place, Peter Dumbreck was the fastest driver with an Opel Astra V8 Coupé. The second local hero, Opel-youngster Jeroen Bleekemolen, put his Astra Coupé in seventh place ahead of his fellow Opel-drivers Manuel Reuter and Alain Menu. Points leader Bernd Schneider was only 13th.

"I did an impeccable lap, something that one does only seldom," Mattias Ekström said. "My Audi was perfect, and the track with its fast corners is really fun." Christijan Albers, who has won three races this year, was delighted: "The track is just great and a real challenge every time round. Thinking of the fact that thousands of my compatriots will be supporting me sends shivers down my spine." Jeroen Bleekemolen, son of a well-known Dutch family of racing drivers, said: "Maybe, I have a little bit of a home advantage here indeed. After all, I did my first laps here at the age of eight! Moreover, it is an incredible motivation to be racing at home."

300 school kids attending the DTM at Zandvoort

On Friday afternoon, 300 school kids from Zandvoort will be visiting the DTM, invited by the ITR and the organisers. The kids will be arriving with their bicycles and will be welcomed by the two young Dutch DTM-drivers Christijan Albers and Jeroen Bleekemolen. After that, they will be allowed to experience the DTM-atmosphere in the pit lane and may look behind the scenes. After that, they are off to the grand stand to follow practice of the Porsche Carrera Cup, and then, the kids will be riding home with their bicycles again.

-dtm-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Laurent Aiello , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Manuel Reuter , Christijan Albers , Mattias Ekström , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Alain Menu