Momentum for Zandvoort
Warm-up programme in Amsterdam. Not far from the Dutch capital’s picturesque harbour, in the ‘Hotel de Goudfazant’, the DTM drivers Robin Frijns, Marco Wittmann and Daniel Juncadella banged the drum for the two DTM races in the Netherlands together with Bernhard van Oranje, owner of the Circuit Zandvoort, and Erik Weijers, C.O.O. of the facility located at the seaside resort.
Particularly popular as dialogue partner for the journalists was Dutchman Robin Frijns. The local hero would love to follow in the footsteps of his compatriot Christijan Albers who won a DTM round at the dune circuit in 2003. “I gathered experience at Zandvoort with different vehicles, inter alia a Formula BMW single-seater and an Audi R8 LMS,” Frijns reveals. “The circuit is located some 2.5 hours from my hometown but it still is located in the Netherlands and so, I regard the DTM weekend here as my home meeting. I like the old-school circuit – nor asphalted run-off areas, just gravel, grass and walls. It features several tricky corners where making a mistake is easy. In particular in turn eight, Scheivlak. It will be my first time to race a DTM vehicle at Zandvoort. It’s the fastest car I raced at this circuit to date and consequently, this will represent a new experience for me. The Dutch fans are really enthusiastic and I hope that I will be able to give them a win.
Daniel Juncadella travels to the North Sea coast with clearly boosted confidence. At the Norisring, the Spaniard made his dreams come true – after 64 races in DTM. On the Sunday of the race meeting, the 27-year old secured the first pole in his DTM career and made good use of this pole to finish third, thus also clinching his first DTM podium. A success that increased the Mercedes-AMG driver’s greediness. “Zandvoort is a driver circuit,” he says. “It’s very tight and technical. I like that and it also suits me well. Following my success at the Norisring I will travel to Zandvoort in a confident mood and really look forward to the races. The year without DTM was good for me. I returned with a completely different philosophy. My goal? To again make it to the podium. And I wouldn’t mind of it was the op step.”
Marco Wittmann can tell Frijns how it feels to win a home race. The BMW frolicsomely celebrated his win at the Dutzendteich he had aimed to secure for many years and now is particularly motivated for the things to come. “My pleasant anticipation of Zandvoort is huge,” Wittmann reveals. “Following my home win in Nuremberg travelling to Netherlands feels particularly good and even more so as I always was competitive at Zandvoort. I hope that Audi will be able to close that gap and that we will have a nice three-way battle. The races so ware were very thrilling and featured a lot of great battles. Zandvoort is a natural racetrack and therefore represents a particular challenge. The sand always is a factor, particularly when it comes to the tyres and the grip level. The circuit features numerous fast corners and therefore, a good setup is extremely important.