Zandvoort analysis part 1 | DTM
2005-08-30 16:38:43

Zandvoort analysis part 1

Zandvoort analysis part 1

Following the eighths race of the 2005 DTM season, held at Zandvoort, Netherlands, the battle for the championship is just as close as it was before. The title favourites are still split by just one point and the title hunt is extremely thrilling. At the same time, Heinz-Harald Frentzen secured Opel’s second podium finish. has taken a close look at the performances of teams and drivers throughout the entire race weekend:

Gary Paffett: Race win and back in the championship lead – the weekend couldn’t have taken a better course, for Paffett. In the qualifying session and the Super Pole, the Briton also succeeded in defeating his championship rival, Ekström. During the start, Paffett was passed by Ekström and followed the Swede until making his early first pit stop, on lap six. On the 20th lap, he was called in for his second stop and on the 27th lap he took the lead. When he crossed the line, he had increased his lead over Ekström to 12 seconds. (Results: 11 / 2 / 4 / 2 / 4 / 7 / 1). Grade: 1

Mattias Ekström: In spite of having lost his championship lead, at Zandvoort, Ekström’s chances of defending his title are still healthy. He made a great start and passed Paffett for third place, but made his first stop too late. Far too late. Paffett pitted clearly earlier, a move that turned out to be the crucial advantage. In the closing stages of the race, Ekström couldn’t match Paffett’s pace and had to settle for second place. But Ekström is sure: “This year, the battle for the title will be taken down to the season finale, held at Hockenheim.”
(Results: 1 /4 /2 /7 /5 /2 /2). Grade: 2

RHeinz-Harald Frentzen: Friday – a day to forget: 14th in the first test session, and 16th in session two. But from Saturday, Frentzen delivered in fine style to make it to the top five, in every session. During the start, he improved to second position, behind Bernd Schneider, and later in the race, he even took the lead for 14 laps. Following his second pit stop, he rejoined the race ahead of Schneider, with Paffett and Ekström having been the only ones who could pass him, during the pit stops. With the right momentum, Frentzen knows how to deliver… (Results: 14 / 16 / 3 / 4 / 3 / 4 / 3). Grade: 2

Tom Kristensen: During the course of the Zandvoort weekend, Kristensen set more fastest laps than anybody else (four out of seven). In the Super Pole, he had to take all the pressure as Ekström in fifth position was the fastest Audi driver when the Dane – the fastest in the qualifying session – went out for his Super Pole lap. He set a fastest first split time, but in turn six, he slightly went off, thus losing too much time. His race was an unobtrusive one – up to the final lap. For many laps, he had pressurised fourth placed Fässler, and in the final turn, the Swiss couldn’t fend off the attacking Dane and had to let him pass. Fourth place, five points. (Results: 4 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 10 / 1 / 4). Grade: 2

Marcel Fässler: Only in the very last turn, the Swiss driver lost his fourth place to Kristensen. So far, Fässler had been fourth behind his brand-mate Frentzen and seemed to be on the way to secure a result that would have been the icing on the cake, for Opel. In the Saturday Super Pole, he delivered in perfect style by securing second position on the grid, thus confirming his good results achieved in the Friday test sessions (second and third place). During the start, Fässler lost his second position and at the end of lap one, he had dropped back to fourth place. At half time, on lap 19, Fässler had already made both his pit stops, thus having to complete the second half of the race on one set of tyres. In the closing stages, he was hampered by a lack of grip when accelerating out of the tight corners. (Results: 2 / 3 / 11 / 3 / 2 / 17 / 5). Grade: 3

LMartin Tomczyk: In the eighth DTM round, at Zandvoort, the German secured his second best result of the season so far, although he didn’t seem to be on the way to scoring points, at the beginning of the race. He qualified 15th, thus clearly missing the Super Pole. “I was just too slow,” he said afterwards. On Sunday, however, things looked clearly better. Tomczyk performed a great chase and held even second place, at a certain point in time. Yet, he couldn’t get the upper hand in his battle with Kristensen and Fässler. While Kristensen succeeded in passing the Swiss, Fässler fended off Tomczyk’s attack. At the end of the day, Tomczyk was the only one to score points without having qualified for the Super Pole. (Results: 19 / 12 / 7 / 15 / - / 9 / 6). Grade: 2

Jamie Green: What a great result could have been possible? In the practice sessions, Green delivered rather unobtrusive performances to finish twelfth, ninth and thirteenth. In the qualifying session and the Super Pole, however, the young Briton proved his skills and qualified sixth. But during the start, Green didn’t get off the line, thus losing many positions. At the end of lap one, he was only 16th. Afterwards, the rookie proved his fighting spirit by battling his way back up. At the end of the day, he finished seventh, thus scoring two points. (Results: 12 / 9 / 13 / 6 / 6 / 20 / 7). Grade: 3

Bernd Schneider: The DTM Record Champion experienced a continual up and down, during the Zandvoort weekend, with his results reaching from first position in the Super Pole to 14th in the free practice session. Just in the very last minute of the qualifying session, Schneider made it to the Super Pole. In the single-lap shoot-out, however, he delivered a perfect lap to gain his 24th DTM pole position, 0.224 seconds ahead of second placed Fässler. Just like Paffett, Schneider and his AMG Team opted for an early first pit stop – on lap seven. On the 15th lap, Schneider spoiled his chances of winning the race by making a braking mistake while entering the ‘Tarzanbocht’ and pushing Capello in the gravel. An incident he was penalised for with a drive-thru penalty. In spite of the penalty, Schneider finished eighth and scored a point. (Results: 9 / 8 / 14 / 5 / 1 / 13 / 8). Grade: 3

Bruno Spengler: Finished ninth and had to leave Zandvoort empty-handed. But it could have been worse. On nearly all the time sheets, the Franco-Canadian was far behind. He even turned out to be the slowest, twice. The race, however, went clearly better for Team Mücke Motorsport’s DTM rookie than the Friday and the Saturday sessions. From his fifth grid position, he made up five places, thus just failing to score a point. (Results: 20 / 20 / 15 / 14 / - / 14 / 9). Grade: 3

Christian Abt: Usually, the driver of a 2004 spec car knows how to score points. At Zandvoort, however, he failed to score in spite of promising preconditions. Abt made it to the top ten in every session, and in the Super Pole, he turned out to be the fastest driver of a 2004 spec car – despite suffering from influenza. During the starting turmoil, his rear axle was hit and from that point in time, he was clearly hampered. A set of tyres worked just six laps, then, the lap times clearly degraded. Furthermore, Abt came close to becoming a decisive factor in the battle for the championship when hampering his brand-mate, Ekström, who nearly spun off the track. A constant but unrewarded weekend performance. (Results: 6 / 6 / 5 / 8 / 8 / 3 / 10). Grade: 3

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