Munich (DE), 22nd September 2014. Marco Wittmann (DE) was crowned Drivers’ Champion at the Lausitzring (DE), but there are still two titles up for grabs when the DTM season enters the finishing straight in Zandvoort (NL) next weekend and reaches its conclusion in Hockenheim (DE) on 19th October.
The title race is in full swing in both the Manufacturers’ and the Team competitions. With this in mind, the BMW Motorsport teams and drivers have their sights set on scoring as many points as possible at the “Circuit Park Zandvoort”, in order to defend the leads currently held by BMW Team RMG and BMW. Stefan Reinhold’s (DE) team, which includes the new DTM champion in Wittmann, currently tops the Team standings with 167 points. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW leads with 320 points.
Last season, the race in Zandvoort proved to be successful for BMW Motorsport. Wittmann, at the wheel of the Ice-Watch BMW M3 DTM, claimed the first pole position of his DTM career in qualifying. He then went on to clock the fastest lap during the race, setting a time of 1:32.296 minutes on his sixth lap of the 4.307-kilometre circuit in the Dutch sand dunes. The winner at the “Circuit Park” was fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus (BR). He produced an outstanding display in front of 41,000 spectators to clinch the 50th win in the history of the DTM for the BMW M3.
Zandvoort is one of the BMW drivers’ favourite circuits. The reason for this is the characteristic of the circuit: the tricky hills, crests and bumps make a lap of the “Circuit Park” akin to a rollercoaster ride. The location, nestled in the dunes on the North Sea coast, is also unique. Zandvoort has stepped in to replace the race initially scheduled to take place in China, when the event originally planned for this weekend, in Guangzhou (CN), had to be cancelled.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“We are still overjoyed at Marco Wittmann winning the Drivers’ title with races to spare at the Lausitzring. That was an incredible day, even looking back now. Marco was deservedly crowned the DTM champion. He and his team have been outstanding all season. We obviously celebrated at the circuit after the race on Sunday evening – but come the following morning we were already looking ahead to the remaining two races. The season is not over yet. There are still two titles up for grabs. At the moment we are leading both the Team competition with BMW Team RMG and the Manufacturers’ Championship. We want to take full advantage of this position and end the season still on top. That will be far from easy. Mercedes has made up ground and will field its new car for the first time, and Audi is hungry for its first win in 2014. We will have to give 100 per cent again in Zandvoort, just as we have done at all the previous races – and that is exactly what we are going to do in the Netherlands.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):“Zandvoort is something of a home race for us, as the circuit is close to our team headquarters in Mechelen. A lot of friends and relatives will be there to support us. The track still has a very specific character, featuring some very fast and unique corners. And it is by the beach. There can be few better locations for a racetrack. It will also be interesting to see the effects of the DRS there this year, as in 2014 we didn’t use it.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):“We are looking forward to Zandvoort. It is a really interesting racetrack, which generally produces exciting races. The Dutch fans are very enthusiastic. Our team made its debut in Zandvoort back in the early 1970s, in the European Touring Car Championship, and has also appeared there in the FIA WTCC. We have mostly been competitive in the races so far in 2014. However, our main focus for Zandvoort is on improving our performance in qualifying. If, as in the previous race at the Lausitzring, we start way outside the top ten, we may have a chance of finishing in the points, but it is virtually impossible to challenge at the head of the field.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):“The key for our team is to move on from the race at the Lausitzring as quickly as possible. We were very unlucky and lost both cars early on. Given the opportunity, we are hungry to finally finish in the points again at the coming race in Zandvoort. The last time we did that was in Spielberg, when Timo Glock finished third. However, we cannot afford to make any mistakes if we are to achieve this. We will do everything in our power to get back on track. Personally, it is obviously nice for me to race in my native Netherlands. We will certainly have a lot of friends and acquaintances there supporting us.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):“Now that Marco Wittmann has won the Drivers’ title, our goal for the remaining two races of the season is clear: we want to win the Team competition with BMW Team RMG and to help ensure that BMW stays on top of the Manufacturers’ Championship. A lot of pressure obviously fell from the team’s shoulders with Marco’s success at the Lausitzring. Therefore, we are particularly looking forward to the final two races. We still have big plans for 2014.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM):
“I have always been very competitive in Zandvoort, and it is a lovely circuit. I think it is probably the best circuit of the whole season. I am looking forward to it. It is a big challenge for the drivers. It has very high speed corners and a blind corner. You always have a big crowd there. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult with the wind, as you might get a lot of sand on the track. It is a hard circuit on tyres, so tyre management is important. But I love the place, last year I won and am hopeful this year I can repeat that.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM):“Zandvoort is one of the tracks I have had good pace at over the past two years. It is a fun track for me. Every year I say it is the closest I have seen to some of the old school American tracks, like the Virginia International Raceway or Watkins Glen. It puts a lot of things from a lot of American tracks into one circuit. It has a lot of great and a lot of fast corners. It seemed to suit me well, so I am excited about going back. I am hopeful to finish this year off strongly, and Zandvoort and Hockenheim are two really good tracks for me.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer):“I like Zandvoort. It is a nice track, even though it is a bit of an old fashioned one. It is fun to have the Dutch fans coming to the track. What I also like is the track lay-out, which is very challenging and very demanding on the car and the driver. Also being close to the beach is something nice and different from what we are used to.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer):“I am looking forward to Zandvoort. Over all the years it has been a great event. A lot of spectators, great fans, and the racetrack is awesome. Sure it is not the newest race track and we struggle there with the sand and the kerbs, but nevertheless it is a great circuit.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK): “We are looking forward to being back in Zandvoort. In the past it has been a great place for all the drivers and very challenging for a DTM car. It is great for our team principal Ernest Knoors and BMW Team MTEK to have sort of a home race again. I am looking forward to it and hope we can get a good result for the team.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK): “Zandvoort is a very interesting track. I won there in Formula 3 and in Formula Renault so it is a track I know pretty well. However, it is a while since I have been there, but I am looking forward to driving there in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM. There are some really nice high speed corners, which I particularly enjoy. As it is very close to the beach, there is often a lot of sand on the track – particularly in the morning. We must watch out for that.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG): “As you would expect, I obviously celebrated winning the Drivers’ title. After all, it was the biggest day of my motorsport career so far. I can still remember crossing the line at the Lausitzring and the celebrations that followed. I will never forget these moments. However, we still have some major goals to achieve with BMW and my team. With a little luck we could wrap up the Team Championship in Zandvoort. Hopefully we will also score enough points to ensure that BMW travels to the final race in Hockenheim leading the Manufacturers’ Championship. I will do my best again.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG): “It is a really interesting and high-speed track, but difficult as you cannot afford to make any mistakes. It will be new for me in the DTM. I know if from GT, as I contested one race there, but the DTM car is completely different, so it will practically be a new circuit to me. I am looking forward to it. It is really old style and, as I said, you cannot make any mistakes otherwise you can have big moments. That is the kind of track I like, but driving there in the DTM car I don’t know what to expect.”
Statistics ahead of the race at Zandvoort.
|Circuit / Date||Circuit Park Zandvoort, 28th September 2014|
|Laps / Distance||44 laps, 4.307 km|
|2013 Pole Time||Marco Wittmann (DE), 1:30,894 minutes|
|2013 Winner||Augusto Farfus (BR)|
|2013 Fastest Lap||Marco Wittmann (DE), 1:32,296 minutes|
DTM standings after 8 of 10 races.
1. Marco Wittmann (128 points), 2. Christian Vietoris (59), 3. Mattias Ekström (56), 4. Edoardo Mortara (56), 5. Mike Rockenfeller (54), 6. Bruno Spengler (42), 7. Pascal Wehrlein (40), 8. Maxime Martin (39), 9. Augusto Farfus (39), 10. Robert Wickens (35), 11. Adrien Tambay (36), 12. Timo Scheider (34), 13. Timo Glock (33), 14. Miguel Molina (28), 15. Jamie Green (28), 16. Martin Tomczyk (28), 17. Paul di Resta (17), 18. Daniel Juncadella (22), 19. Nico Müller (10), 20. Joey Hand (7), 21. António Félix da Costa (4), 22. Gary Paffett (4).
1. BMW Team RMG (167 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt (92), 3. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (88), 4. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline (84), 5. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (83), 6. BMW Team Schnitzer (70), 7. BMW Team RBM (46), 8. EURONICS / FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG (41), 9. gooix Mercedes AMG (40), 10. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (38), 11. BMW Team MTEK (37), 12. Petronas Mercedes AMG (22).
1. BMW (320 points), 2. Audi (302), 3. Mercedes-Benz (186).
4th May – Hockenheim (DE), 18th May – Oschersleben (DE), 1st June – Budapest (HU), 29th June – Norisring (DE), 13th July – Moscow (RU), 3rd August – Spielberg (AT), 17th August – Nürburgring (DE), 14th September – Lausitzring (DE), 28th September – Zandvoort (NL), 19th October – Hockenheim (DE).