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DTM Zandvoort

DTM adjusts Zandvoort schedule due to Le Mans test

The ADAC has adjusted the schedule for the DTM’s Zandvoort round to allow drivers to take part in a clashing Le Mans 24 Hours test.

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After already having to alter the programme for this month’s Lausitzring round at the request of TV partner ProSieben, which is also broadcasting the Ice Hockey World Championship, the start of the second Zandvoort race has also been pushed back due to a scheduling conflict with the Le Mans test.
While the timings for Saturday’s sessions remain the same, the second race on Sunday will now take place at 5pm local time, 3h30m later than the DTM’s usual 1:30pm slot. Moreover, the grid for that contest will be decided by a qualifying session on Friday evening, directly after the two practice sessions.
The traditional pre-Le Mans test is scheduled for 9 June, the same day as the second Zandvoort DTM race and a week before the blue-riband round of the World Endurance Championship.
“We want to present our fans with the best possible field,” ADAC motorsport director Thomas Voss explained about the decision when asked by Motorsport.com’s sister website Motorsport-Total.com. 
"Therefore, together with the teams and our TV partner ProSieben, we have agreed to postpone the start on Sunday so that DTM drivers can take part in the Le Mans test.
"This means that no driver has a handicap in the title fight, and ideally we can welcome a Le Mans winner from the DTM at the [next round in] Norisring."
BMW had long been lobbying for moving the start time for the Zandvoort race to minimse the impact from the overlap with the Le Mans test. All three of its DTM drivers, Rene Rast, Sheldon van der Linde and Marco Wittmann, compete with the factory WRT team in WEC's Hypercar class this year, meaning it had a lot to lose from the clash.
Originally, the ADAC didn’t see the need to change the timings of the Zandvoort round, as the Le Mans test is not compulsory and even rookies like Wittmann can theoretically complete their mandatory laps in a practice session on the following Wednesday.
However, the importance of the Le Mans test cannot be estimated, especially considering BMW has received only moderate success with its LMDh programme in WEC and IMSA SportsCar Championship so far.
Moreover, the German marque is keen on having Rast in the pre-race test at La Sarthe, as the 37-year-old has prototype experience at the track and is known for his methodical approach.
Therefore, the ADAC has decided to hold the second Zandvoort race late in the evening. This will allow drivers who compete in both Le Mans and the DTM to fly to France on Saturday evening, with an airport located right next to the track, and then take part in the test on Sunday morning.
Following the test, they will return to the Netherlands to see out the DTM weekend.
Apart from the BMW trio, SSR’s Mirko Bortolotti, Emil Frey driver Jack Aitken and Abt Audi man Kelvin van der Linde are also due to compete in the 92nd running of the French endurance classic.

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