by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

DTM Zandvoort 2011: Preview


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Stuttgart, Germany, May 11, 2011

Preview: Second race of the 2011 DTM Season at Zandvoort

• The DTM season opener at Hockenheim saw two Mercedes-Benz drivers on the podium – Bruno Spengler as race winner with Ralf Schumacher third – and five C-Class drivers in the top eight
• Mercedes-Benz have won the last two races at Zandvoort and five of the ten races held at the track since it made its DTM debut in 2001
• Dutch Mercedes-Benz driver Renger van der Zande will compete in his home race at Zandvoort



Comments on the second race of the 2011 DTM season at Zandvoort from:

Bruno Spengler (27, Canada, Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class):
- Achieved the hat trick (pole, win and fastest lap) for the third time in his DTM career at the season opener in Hockenheim
- Has now recorded eight wins, eight pole positions and 11 fastest laps in DTM
- Secured his best DTM result at Zandvoort in 2006 with fourth place; he also finished second there in the first round of the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series


“The season started exactly as I would have wanted – with a win. But the competition is very strong, so I’m expecting a tight scrap at the front this weekend, and that suits me fine. I really like the Zandvoort circuit even though I haven’t managed to win there yet. It’s demanding for the drivers, with some fast corners, and requires a high level of fitness, particularly towards the end of the race. But that doesn’t bother me in the slightest because I’m in great shape. The team and I will be doing our race at the front again and improve my record at Zandvoort.”

Ralf Schumacher (35, Germany, Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- Scored his first DTM podium finish at the 2011 season opener
- Posted the fastest race lap in the 1995 Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort


“So far, Zandvoort has not been one of my favourite DTM tracks, but given my first podium finish at the season opener at Hockenheim, I am confident that I can build on that achievement. I am curious to find out how the new Hankook tyres will behave, because we haven’t yet run them at this circuit. In winter testing and at Hockenheim I managed to get the most out of them, so that should also be the case in Zandvoort.”

Gary Paffett (30, England, THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- Has won three times at Zandvoort (2005, 2009 and 2010)
- Gained 12 positions during the race in Hockenheim


“Zandvoort is a nice track – it’s very tight and offers some challenges for the drivers, including a number of very fast corners, which I really enjoy. I’ve already won three times in Zandvoort, including the last two races there; this year, I’m aiming to make it a hat trick with three in a row. The platform for that will be to qualify strongly, which is crucial in Zandvoort because there are so few overtaking opportunities in the race.”

David Coulthard (40, Scotland, Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- Began his second DTM season with a Top 10 finish at Hockenheim
- Won the 1991 Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort


“Although I hadn’t driven at Zandvoort for a long time before last year, I remember the track well: after all, I won the first Formula 3 Masters there in 1991. Three things characterise the course: the strong wind that often blows a lot of sand on the track, making the track surface very slippery; the many straights and fast turns; and the narrow width of the track, which makes overtaking difficult and qualifying especially important. After a good start to the season with tenth place in Hockenheim, I would like to continue to improve in this second race.”

Renger van der Zande (25, Netherlands, stern AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- Will be driving in his home race at Zandvoort for the first time in DTM
- Won the second race of the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2008 with a Dallara Mercedes


“My DTM debut in Hockenheim was solid. I learned a lot and even had enough speed to finish in the points, but unfortunately my bonnet flew off shortly after contact with another car and that ended my race. After the season opener, the next highlight for me is my home race at Zandvoort – it’s a great feeling to be able to drive in front of my home crowd, and many friends and relatives. I like the track very much and scored a win there in the Formula 3 Euro Series.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“A convincing victory for Bruno Spengler, the first podium finish for Ralf Schumacher and five C-Classes in the first eight: we had a good start to the season in Hockenheim. The new Hankook tyres performed very well in the last race and will play a crucial role at the next round in Zandvoort. Qualifying will be crucial: at no other race during the season does the starting grid matter quite so much as at Zandvoort, where overtaking is virtually impossible. Gary Paffett has won the last two races there for us, and it would be great if we could add a third consecutive win to our record.”

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