One of the coolest tracks on the DTM calendar is how Augusto Farfus describes the Zandvoort circuit, which nestles in the sand dunes by the North Sea in the Dutch seaside resort of the same name. He also has every reason to remember this place fondly, as he has some great results there, including a win in 2013.
“BMW has a great past there. I don’t think anyone can forget the amazing result last year, with the BMW M4 DTM claiming the top seven places in race one and the top five in race two. It was amazing to be part of that. Obviously I would have loved to have replicated my 2013 result, which was the 50th win for the BMW M3 DTM in the series, but I can’t complain at pole and fourth in race one and third on the grid and second in race two,” was the way the always upbeat Brazilian remembers his and BMW’s 2015 there.
However, after what can only be described as a deeply disappointing Norising three weeks ago for him and his Shell BMW M4 DTM, the driver from Curitiba needs all his resilience to put that behind him this weekend. “It was a big disappointment for me and BMW Team MTEK to come away from the race empty handed. I know only too well that this is a track that is difficult. That first corner has seen many incidents and, sadly, I was caught up with one in race two. But I am, as always, looking forward and not back,” was his positive view of things.
The Zandvoort track, which has the official title of Circuit Park Zandvoort, is 4.307 kilometres long and can be tricky as the wind often blows the sand onto the circuit. The way Augusto describes it is: “I think it is the coolest track of the season, it is nice to drive on and has high speed corners. Also the Dutch fans love their motorsport and make the atmosphere pretty special. We have had some very wet races in the past, but let’s hope it will stay dry this year.”
Only one appearance on the podium so far this season and just 32 points to his name means Augusto is currently 12th in the drivers’ standings, but he still has another ten races ahead of him to score some hard earned points.
The first race in the town of Zandvoort was on its streets in 1939, but it was not until 1948 that the circuit was opened. It then held its first Grand Prix in 1950 but the race was not a round of the world championship until 1952, which was won by Alberto Ascari. The last time the track hosted a Grand Prix was in 1985 and this, its 34th Grand Prix, was won by Niki Lauda.
The schedule for the DTM, which has been visiting the circuit since 2001,will be FP1 from 17:00 to 17.30 on Friday (15th July). For Saturday it is FP2 from 13.45 to 14.15, qualifying from 15.45 to 16.05 and the 40-minute race starts at 18.88. On Sunday it is FP3 from 09.20 to 09.50, qualifying from 11.20 to 11.40 and the 60-minute race starts at 13.43.