The former site of the Dutch F1 Grand Prix, Zandvoort Circuit may have have been unceremoniously hacked in half in the late 80s, but it's lost none of its unique character as a beach-side race through the North Sea sand dunes. With the 2008 Mercedes DTM cars weighed down with success ballasts, DTM's visit to the classic Zandvoort circuit in The Netherlands was a
bit of a walk in the park for the Audi team this year.
Reigning champion Swede Matthia Ekstrom lead a flag to flag victory and has now taken over 2nd place in the championship standings. You can see behind him the sand dunes that Zandvoort is famous for.
Personaly I've only driven the the track in PC sim games but I can attest that it has a great rhythm of elevation changes, fast sweepers and overtaking areas.
The circuit is characterized by a relatively long front pit-straight which heads into a tight hairpin; a similar set up to Fuji Speedway in some ways. Off the standing start we see Ektrom is quick to take a defensive line at the head of the field. Behind him, Jamie Green the top-qualifying Mercedes, has just lost a place to his team mate Bruno Spengler.
A few lockups into the the famous Tarzan hairpin. Many a famous over-taking manuveur has been performed over the years on this spot since the circuit first opened in 1948.
Here, Spenger has pulled up beside
Martin Tomczyk in the second Red Bull Audi.
On the run into the second "Gerlach" corner we see the pair battle wheel-to-wheel. However, they're about to head into a right-hand corner; Tomczyk has the inside line and thus took over 4th spot. They finished in this order, with Bruno going on to take 5th overall, the top placed Mercedes.
Second place went to the championship leader Timo Sheider. It's great to see him doing so well after many years at the back of the field in the now defunct Opel team.
The last podium spot went toTom Kristensen. He wasn't quite able to keep up with Matthias and Timo over the course of the race, but underlined his competitiveness with the fastest lap of the race.
I'm still waiting to see a Time Attack car with this rear canard overload setup :>
Suction. Dutchman Christijan Albers had a rather short race and wrecked on lap 2 in front of his home crowd. Ack!
Spot the air vortex swirling around the car in this shot? Amazing!
Red Bull shipped over Scott Speed and his NASCAR machine to run some demo laps…. I wish they'd return the favour and bring over a Red Bull Audi to run on Daytona Speedway! That would be quite the sight no? A few years ago there was talk about running an oval race at the DTM Euroring round, but it never happened.
Amazing how much lower the DTM cars are from the COT…..
Just soooo coool… (sorry if my enthusiasm for these cars is getting a bit repetitive!)
Hey, so if you are not yet convinced by the extremity of these machines check out the dtm.tv website. Watch the race highlight videos to get a real sense of how incredible these cars are. Check it!
Image Source: Audi, DTM