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Rollercoaster in the dunes: BMW teams ready for the next round in Zandvoort.

Munich. The 2017 DTM season edges towards its business end with races eleven and twelve this weekend. Following outings in Budapest (HUN) and Moscow (RUS), the two races in Zandvoort (NED) now mark the series’ third trip outside Germany.

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One driver among the BMW Motorsport ranks will celebrate a special milestone when he lines up for Saturday’s race at “Circuit Park”, which is located on the North Sea coast: Bruno Spengler (CAN), the 2012 DTM champion, will contest his 150th DTM race on the 4.307-kilometre track in the Dutch dunes.

 

The situation:


BMW Motorsport travels to the Netherlands on the back of a successful weekend at the “Moscow Raceway” (RUS). Spengler secured BMW’s 60th pole position in the DTM in qualifying for race ten of the season on Sunday. He went on to take third place in the race and finish on the podium for the third DTM event in a row. Marco Wittmann (GER) and Tom Blomqvist (GBR) also picked up points in sixth and seventh place. One day earlier, Wittmann had finished third to take his place on the podium. Timo Glock (GER) was also in the points in fifth. The best-placed BMW driver in the Drivers’ Championship going into the races in Zandvoort is Maxime Martin (BEL), who lies fifth with 78 points. BMW is currently third in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 308 points. Audi tops the standings with 421 points.


The expectations:

 

BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “The 2017 DTM season is approaching its business end, following a short summer break. There are still a lot of points up for grabs. In the ten races up to this point, we have had ten podium results, including two victories. We must now remain fully focussed for the remaining eight races and carry with us the momentum we gained in the final races before the break. We have always done very well in Zandvoort in the past. Only once we are there will we discover the balance of power this year on the re-surfaced track.”


Stefan Reinhold (team principal, BMW Team RMG):
“The sun, sand and sea always create a holiday atmosphere for the races in Zandvoort – for the fans, at least. It is obviously a very different story for my team: We expect another hard-fought race weekend. We will do everything we can to be among the front-runners again on the North Sea coast. It is a really interesting circuit, which usually produces exciting races.”

 

Marco Wittmann (#11, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM – 66 races, 8 wins, 17 podiums, 8 pole positions, 595 points, 2 Drivers’ titles): “I have very fond memories of Zandvoort, and have enjoyed a lot of great success there in the past, including my first pole position in the DTM, one race win and several podiums. I like the circuit. It has a lot of fast corners and the surrounding dunes make it a kind of natural racetrack. I hope to have another good weekend there. We have definitely been on the up since the Norisring. Let’s hope that continues in Zandvoort.”

 

Augusto Farfus (#15, Shell BMW M4 DTM – 76 races, 4 wins, 12 podiums, 5 pole positions, 351 points): “Zandvoort is the coolest circuit of the year. I am really looking forward to it. The track has been re-surfaced, so we still don’t know exactly what to expect and are starting, more or less, from scratch. We saw in Moscow that we have the necessary pace. We now want to build on that.”


Timo Glock (#16, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM – 66 races, 3 wins, 7 podiums, 2 pole positions, 283 points): “I mainly associate Zandvoort with its location in the dunes – and this year with the new asphalt. We will have to wait and see what effect that has. I hope we have good pace in Zandvoort. We have always been well-positioned there in the past, and are excited to see how we get on this year.”

 

Bart Mampaey (team principal, BMW Team RBM): “The whole team is looking forward to the two races at Circuit Park, which is only about 200 kilometres from our headquarters in Mechelen, making it something of a home track for us. There are few better surroundings for a racetrack. It has its very own character. Zandvoort is an old-school circuit with a lot of fast corners.”

 

Bruno Spengler (#7, BMW Bank BMW M4 DTM – 149 races, 15 wins, 48 podiums, 18 pole positions, 819 points, 1 Drivers’ title): “I am looking forward to Zandvoort. It is rather special there. We are right on the coast and the atmosphere is always great. An awful lot of fans come to the circuit, and they really love motorsport. The track itself is very interesting and demanding. There is always a lot of wind, which results in there being a lot of sand on the racing surface. As such, the track can change from one lap to the next. However, that is just part and parcel of racing in Zandvoort.”

 

Tom Blomqvist (#31, BMW Driving Experience M4 DTM – 46 races, 1 win, 5 podiums, 2 pole positions, 193 points): “Zandvoort is a great track and a lot of fun to drive at, but it is also demanding. There are a lot of fast corners. That really puts the car and the driver through their paces. For me, it is definitely one of the highlights of the season when it comes to enjoying driving out on the track. BMW has been really successful there in the past, but the cards will be reshuffled again this year.”

 

Maxime Martin (#36, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM – 56 races, 3 wins, 9 podiums, 3 pole positions, 309 points): “We will face different challenges in Zandvoort to those we have encountered at the previous circuits. It is not really possible to make any kind of prediction this year. The current DTM season has shown that. I hope I fare better here than last time out in Moscow.”

 

History:

“Circuit Park” in Zandvoort first hosted the DTM in 2001. The unique circuit, nestled in the dunes on the North Sea coast, is a special venue for drivers and fans alike. The drivers love the varied, demanding and fast track, while fans can combine a trip to races eleven and twelve of the season with a holiday on the Dutch North Sea coast. Featuring well-known corners like the “Tarzanbocht”, the track in Zandvoort has been a happy stomping ground for BMW Motorsport in recent years. BMW drivers have emerged victorious there on three occasions. The lap record for the 4.307-kilometre circuit dates back to 28th September 2014 and is held by Marco Wittmann, who clocked a time of 1:32.411 minutes in the BMW M4 DTM.

 

The media schedule:

 

Friday, 18th August

15:00-15:30, ITR Press Conference with Maxime Martin, Media Center

 

Saturday, 19th August

16:50-17:00, mixed zone interviews with all BMW drivers, Media Center

 

Sunday, 20th August

11:00-11:30, interview session with BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Team Hospitality

 

17:20-17:30, mixed zone interviews with all BMW drivers, Media Center

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