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Stuttgart - The DTM travels to the historic circuit near the Dutch town of Zandvoort this coming weekend for the ninth and penultimate race weekend of the 2013 season.
The track: The DTM has raced twelve times so far at the Circuit Park Zandvoort since the circuit's debut in 2001. The track is 4.307km long, has nine right-hand turns and four left-handers. The race covers 44 laps which equates to 189.508 kilometres.
New livery for STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé: For the last two races of the season (29th September at Zandvoort and 26th October at Hockenheim), the STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé driven by Robert Wickens will be decked out in the bright orange corporate colours of STIHL TIMBERSPORTS. The makeover, which has been designed to publicise the Timbersports World Championship on the weekend of 25th/26th October in Stuttgart, received prior approval from fans who visited the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Facebook page and clicked on 'Like'.
Reward for AMG customer sports juniors: During the interval between the DTM race at Oschersleben and the Zandvoort fixture, AMG customer sports juniors Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Götz were rewarded with a DTM test at the Lausitzring for their outstanding performances and achievements in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. Götz and Buhk each completed 60 laps at the wheel of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Class. They won this season's 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps together with DTM record-holding champion Bernd Schneider. Last weekend, the driver trio of Buhk, Götz, and Schneider won the 1,000km race at the Nürburgring in a racing gullwing. Buhk secured the title in the Blancpain Endurance Series with this success.
Comments on the DTM race at Zandvoort
Christian Vietoris (24, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"Zandvoort is a really cool track but also represents a real challenge for us drivers. There are many fast turns, some of which are proper white knuckle affairs. The race is one of the highlights on the racing calendar from a driver's point of view. Especially in the second sector, you can gain or lose a lot of time. The Oschersleben weekend was very tough for me right from the start and I will do my best to consign my disappointment to history by securing a decent result at this very demanding Zandvoort track. My goal for the rest of the season is to defend my third place in the overall standings and perhaps even be runner-up. That would more than fulfil this season's goal of a top-five finish in the championship."
Robert Wickens (24, Canada, STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"I've drawn a line under not finishing at the last race in Oschersleben. I usually don't need very long to process events after suffering a setback and am able to quickly give the next race my full concentration. That's part and parcel of racing. Zandvoort is a great track that I really enjoy and is probably a firm favourite among all DTM drivers. It's incredibly exciting to race on this roller-coaster of a track in the dunes, and the beach location gives it a special atmosphere that is unique on the DTM calendar. Of course, I would love to do justice to this great track by securing another top result next weekend and finish my season on a positive note in the remaining two races."
Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"Zandvoort is a fantastic track that is definitely one of my favourites. The circuit has a good mix of fast and slow turns and uphill and downhill sections - driving there is great fun. I've already won three times in the past at Zandvoort. Hopefully, that bodes well for the penultimate race weekend of the season. Our pace was not bad in the Oschersleben race, and if we can qualify further up the grid, then we'll be back in contention for the top spots, and my fourth victory in the dunes at Zandvoort will perhaps be possible."
Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, stern AMG Mercedes C-Coupé):
"I'm looking forward to racing at Zandvoort on a track that I associate with happy memories. I won the Formula 3 Masters there last year and also achieved consistently quick times in the Formula 3 Euro Series at the circuit in the dunes. Of course, I need to adjust my driving style a little, because every track is different in a DTM touring car as compared to a Formula 3 single-seater, but I'm certain that my engineers and I can find a good setup in practice. I was not happy with my results in the last two races, but, with the exception of Oschersleben, my speed in the previous qualifying sessions has generally been good. Hopefully, we can see a repeat of that in Zandvoort, so I can finish the race back in the points."
Roberto Merhi (22, Spain, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"Zandvoort is a very special circuit on the DTM calendar. We drivers like it mainly because of its varied, flowing passages, but at the same time, it's also very challenging due to the many fast turns and good aerodynamics are required. You have to pay special attention to the wind that is often quite strong, making the tarmac surface very slippery with sand blown in by the wind. The circuit is not all that wide either compared to other tracks, which makes overtaking a major challenge. DRS and option tyres have been newly introduced this year, which should, hopefully, improve the chances of overtaking on this track."
Pascal Wehrlein (18, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"I know Zandvoort from my time in the Formula 3 Euro Series when I secured podiums there. The track is very much a natural circuit and has a bit of everything to offer - challenging combinations of turns with tough uphill and downhill sections - which is, of course, why I like it so much. You just have to be careful when it's windy and sand gets blown onto the track. I'm satisfied with my progress so far this season. Unfortunately, I have not secured as many points as might have been possible, but I think I'm on the right track now and would like to continue my journey back to the top with another points-scoring finish in Zandvoort."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"Zandvoort is calendared for next weekend - one of the most popular racing tracks in the DTM that is appreciated by drivers and fans alike for its roller-coaster character. Unfortunately, the last race weekend at Oschersleben did not turn out as hoped. The team has worked hard over the past week and a half and we have analysed our performance in qualifying and in the race at Oschersleben. We aim to fight our way back to the top on both Saturday and Sunday at Zandvoort and get in the right frame of mind for our home race and the big DTM finale at Hockenheim on 20th October by achieving a decent result."
Source: Daimler AG