The DTM is all set for its first appearance of the season outside Germany on the fourth race weekend of 2015. BMW Motorsport will line up at the iconic “Circuit Park Zandvoort” (NL) from 10th to 12th July. The last DTM weekend at the Norisring (DE) saw the BMW teams show their fighting spirit and all score points.
Bruno Spengler (CA) was also able to follow up the first pole position of the year with a first podium, courtesy of third place in Sunday’s race. The next challenge now awaits BMW Motorsport, in the form of two races at “Circuit Park” on the North Sea coast.
Last season, the podium in Zandvoort featured two BMW drivers: reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann (DE) finished runner-up and Martin Tomczyk (DE) was third. BMW Team RMG also wrapped up the DTM Team Championship at “Circuit Park”, with races to spare. Sixth place for Maxime Martin (BE) at the end of an eventful race with four safety car phases was sufficient to secure him the title “Rookie of the Year”.
The weekend in Zandvoort heralds the start of this year’s European tour for the DTM. The round in the Netherlands is followed by races in Spielberg (AT) on 1st and 2nd August, before the series heads to Moscow (RU) for another two races on 29th and 30th August. While the “Red Bull Ring” and the “Moscow Raceway” may be modern racetracks, “Circuit Park” is an old-school track.
With its crests and bumps, every lap is akin to a rollercoaster ride. Another feature is the sand, which is blown across the track by the coastal wind. One of the best overtaking opportunities comes at Tarzanbocht, the first corner at the end of the start/finish straight. In 2013, Augusto Farfus (BR) earned his place in the history books by claiming the 50th victory for the BMW M3 in the DTM.
Quotes ahead of the fourth race weekend of 2015 at Zandvoort.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“We showed fighting spirit at the Norisring, and were rewarded with pole position for and third place in Sunday’s race for Bruno Spengler. All the BMW teams finished in the points. That was important for our confidence. However, we are well aware that we must continue to improve. After the exciting races at the Norisring, in front of 123,000 passionate spectators, the DTM moves on seamlessly. Everyone will start from scratch in Zandvoort. The circuit basically suits the BMW M4 DTM – one win and two podiums in the last two years have shown this. However, we will have to wait until we get there to see what the current balance of power is. We will once again do everything in our power to make the opposition’s life as difficult as possible on the North Sea coast.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“Last year in Zandvoort we celebrated our next big success in the DTM after Marco Wittmann had previously won the Drivers’ Championship. We were crowned Team champions with races to spare, and Maxime Martin was confirmed as ‘Rookie of the Year’. This is reason enough for us all to be very much looking forward to the races at ‘Circuit Park’. We hope to finally see an upwards trend this weekend. We are very focussed and determined. I am sure the journey to the circuit will bring back a lot of great memories.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“Zandvoort is a really interesting circuit, which always guarantees exciting races in front of a great backdrop with enthusiastic fans. Martin Tomczyk caught the eye at ‘Circuit Park’ last season. Our goal is to provide him and António Félix da Costa with a perfect car, with which to challenge for points.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Zandvoort still has a very unique character. There can be few better settings for a racetrack. The track itself features some very fast and special corners. The entire team is looking forward to the weekend at ‘Circuit Park’, which is no more than 200 kilometres from our headquarters in Mechelen.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“Success is always good for you, so we travel to Zandvoort with plenty of confidence. Bruno Spengler’s pole position and third place at the Norisring have given us a boost. ‘Circuit Park’ is a very special circuit, and not just because it is in my native Netherlands.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 1, BMW Team RMG):
“It is always nice to come to Zandvoort. The atmosphere is very pleasant and the circuit, with its many corners, is exciting. In the past we have always had really good results there. Last year we were on the podium. I think the track will suit us better than the previous ones this year. As such, we are quite optimistic and looking forward to it.”
Maxime Martin (car number 36, BMW Team RMG):
“Alongside the Nürburgring, Zandvoort is one of the closest tracks to my home in Belgium. The circuit is great. I think there will be a lot of spectators there. The track is very well suited to the BMW M4 DTM. Last year we were right up at the front of the field. I had a very good race and fought back from 17th to finish sixth. I hope this year is similar and I can pick up some points.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 77, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“Zandvoort is an incredible track, which is fantastic to drive on in a DTM car. Uphill, downhill, nice corners. You obviously can’t afford to underestimate the wind. I hope we have two good races. However, we will only really know what kind of chance we have after qualifying.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 13, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“The track in Zandvoort is a very iconic circuit. If you make a mistake there, you pay a high price. We saw that last year, with a number of cars crashing into the walls and barriers. I think we should do better in Zandvoort, with its high-speed corners.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 18, BMW Team RBM):
“I really like Zandvoort. The circuit is located right next to the sea, which makes for a very special atmosphere. I have always been very fast in Zandvoort, and actually won for BMW in 2013.”
Tom Blomqvist (car number 31, BMW Team RBM):
“After a difficult weekend at the Norisring, I hope to do better in both races in Zandvoort. The track is pretty cool, with a lot of fast corners, so it should suit our car.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team MTEK):
“We know we still have to improve after the podium at the Norisring. Our goal for Zandvoort is to find the best possible set-up for the weekend in free practice. Both qualifying sessions are very important in Zandvoort, because there are limited overtaking opportunities in the races. We will strive to do as well as possible in qualifying. That is going to require some hard work, but we will be ready.”
Timo Glock (car number 16, BMW Team MTEK):
“The track in Zandvoort ought to really suit our car. I think we could have a better chance than in previous races. The circuit is a dream and has an outstanding atmosphere. The wind and the sand that gets blown across the track can be problematic. However, the conditions are the same for everyone. We are really looking forward to the two races.”
Length: 4,307 km
2014 winner: Mattias Ekström, Audi
2014 pole: 1:30.713 minutes (Mike Rockenfeller, Audi)
Top BMW in 2014: Marco Wittmann, 2nd
DTM debut: 2001
BMW wins: 1
BMW pole positions: 1
BMW fastest laps: 2
BMW podiums: 3
Statistics for the BMW DTM drivers.