Frijns hopes for rain
For Dutchman Robin Frijns, the course of the DTM season to date was mediocre. In the four race meetings contested so far the rookie scored 15 points and consequently holds 16th position in the championship. The best results of the Dutchman were the 12th place in the first qualifying session at the Lausitzring and the seventh place in the Saturday round of the Budapest weekend. In the run-up to his home race art Zandvoort (13th to 15th July), DTM.com talked with Frijns about the characteristics of the dune circuit and his goals for the race at the Dutch seaside resort.
How do you assess the season to date?
Not too bad. As I see it, my performances in the races were okay. But I had to cope with several doses of bad luck. Particularly at Budapest where the race was red-flagged when I held sixth position. The qualifying, however, has been my weakest point, so far. I never secured a grid position that would be good enough for points. That’s something I have to work on. I hope I will do better at Zandvoort. But all in all it’s quite alright. Audi generally is struggling and in consideration of these conditions and compared to the others I’m rather happy.
You once said that you are fast when you have fun. Are you currently having fun? ?
Yes, definitely. I have fun with the entire team – the engineers, the Abt guys and the car that produces far less downforce than in the past.
What features of the Circuit Park Zandvoort do you like?
Zandvoort is an old-school circuit. There are no asphalted run-off areas, just grass and gravel. A mistake can cost you the entire race. That’s how racing should be. Unfortunately, many of the old circuits have been modified too much. At Monza, for instance, they provided the final corner with a big run-off area. That isn’t spectacular any more. As a driver, you want to take yourself and your car to the very limit. I’m looking forward to my home races. Zandvoort features a great mix of fast and medium-fast corners.
The Dutch fans are slightly mad...
(laughs) Yes, they are somewhat different. I will give my very best and hope for their vociferous support.
What kind of weather would you prefer at Zandvoort?
I remember holding the lead in a Formula BMW race in the wet in 2010 – with a 12-second gap on the second-placed driver. I wasn’t aware that I was that fast, at that point in time. Therefore, I wouldn’t mind if it rained again at Zandvoort. I always am fast in the wet.
What sections of the Circuit Park Zandvoort are particularly crucial?
Each of the 15 corners with different radii has got its special characteristics. Sector two is the fast sections. Scheivlak – with a big gravel bed on the left – is the fastest corner. In the following corner, the Marlborobocht, you will go straight ahead if you make a braking mistake. And should you get with one wheel on the grass, in the corner combination, you will hit the wall. The circuit offers the best overtaking opportunity at the end of the home straight, into the hairpin to the Tarzanbocht.
What is your goal for the home races?
I hopefully will have a good weekend and secure my first podium. That would be great. Doing so in this season that is somewhat difficult for Audi will be anything but easy. To date, only Mike Rockenfeller at the Lausitzring and Nico Müller at Budapest achieved this goal. Making it to the top three always is nice – but doing so at Zandvoort would taste even sweeter.