Mercedes-Benz has won five of the eleven races at the Zandvoort circuit since DTM’s debut there in 2001.
This is the eleventh time that the DTM will be contested at the 4.307km dune circuit in Zandvoort. The race distance is 189.508km, some 44 laps. The pit stop window is open between Lap 11 and Lap 33. Mercedes-Benz has led in all three championship categories since the very start of the season: Gary Paffett heads the standings in the drivers’ championship, the THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG tops the team standings and Mercedes-Benz leads the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
– has secured 103 points from six of ten races, building up a 20-point lead on the second-placed driver in the DTM drivers’ championship.
– has achieved three wins in Zandvoort (2005, 2009, 2010)
“Zandvoort is one of my favourite tracks on the DTM calendar. I’ve already won three times there and really love racing at the dune circuit. The track offers a good mix of fast and slow turns – this variety gives me a lot of pleasure as a driver, and so I’m really looking forward to climbing back into the cockpit just one week after the Nürburgring. Hopefully, I can build on my previous good results at this track and achieve another top-three finish after two races without a podium.”
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
– is in third position in the drivers’ championship, just two points behind the second-placed driver
– was on pole at the start of the 2006 race in Zandvoort and secured the fastest lap there in 2007.
“We posted a decent result at the Nürburgring – fourth place – despite a tough weekend, plus, we showed in the race that our car is quick. I’m now really looking forward to Zandvoort. The dune circuit is quite challenging and makes very different demands on the vehicle as compared to last weekend at the Nürburgring. The fast sections of track really suit me and the car, and, as has so often been the case this season, I expect a close fight for the top positions.”
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé):
– won both Formula BMW races from pole position at Zandvoort in 2006
– finished on the podium in the 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series at Zandvoort
“It’s straight back down to business after my home race at the Nürburgring. This coming weekend’s race at Zandvoort is one of the highlights on the DTM calendar. Zandvoort is without doubt a major challenge but driving there is a whole lot of fun. The track has many fast turns and makes great demands on both drivers and vehicles. There are plenty of uphill and downhill sections and the beach location makes for a unique atmosphere which everyone in the DTM paddock really enjoys.”
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
– won the 1991 Formula 3 Masters in Zandvoort
“My memories of Zandvoort go back many years: I took a win at the first Formula 3 Masters race around the dune circuit more than 20 years ago. I’ve experienced a lot in my career since then and achieved many things. You have to be particularly careful near the beach where strong winds often blow sand onto both uphill and downhill sections, making the asphalt quite slippery. In Zandvoort, I will try to build on my good results from the Norisring after making a disappointing start to the second half of the season at the Nürburgring.”
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
– has been in the Top 8 on the grid at Zandvoort for the last two years
– secured the fastest lap in the 1995 Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort
“I know the Zandvoort track very well from my time in Formula 3 when I first lined up there for the 1995 Formula 3 Masters and went on to post the fastest race lap. Then as now, Zandvoort is a very beautiful, but challenging circuit with many fast turns which necessitate good aerodynamics. Unfortunately, the narrow track makes overtaking quite tricky, but if I can achieve a good grid position in qualifying, then I can secure a decent result in the race.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“Zandvoort places extremely high demands on both cars and drivers and now ranks as a DTM classic. The three-way tussle for top honours between the manufacturers and their drivers is more exciting than ever, since half of the field are podium contenders at Zandvoort, but just some minor error or a setup that proves to be unsuitable in qualifying can ruin your chance of success. Let me give you an example: in the last race at the Nürburgring, Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekström and Gary Paffett, three well-proven exponents of the art of DTM racing who have achieved a total of five championships between them, were only in P10, 11 and 12 on the grid. That shows how tough the competition is in the DTM, and we realise therefore that in Zandvoort we must be suitably prepared from the very first practice lap to defend our championship lead in all the three categories that are being contested.”
Pictures: MBpassion.de / Text: Mercedes-AMG