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Zandvoort ‘a favourite’ for Audi drivers

Audi are hoping for a strong weekend in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters this weekend at Zandvoort, as a number of their drivers count the Dutch coastal circuit among their favourite tracks in the series.

No less than five of Audi’s eight pilots count Zandvoort as among their favourite circuits, including the present best-placed Audi driver in the championship, Italian Edoardo Mortara. The Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver recently scored his second podium finish of the year at the Nürburgring, and he also scored his first ever points in the DTM at the venue last year.

“It’ll be interesting to run again at Zandvoort so shortly after the result at the Nürburgring – on the track I like best in the DTM,” said Mortara. “I think many drivers feels that way. The circuit has many quick corners and is a challenge. In the past, it suited Audi very well too. I’m hoping this will continue to be the case.”

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For Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller, who is tied on points with Mortara in 5th in the driver’s championship, the circuit represents a particular type of challenge for the DTM drivers. The German took his first win at the track last year, after 44 starts in the DTM.

“Zandvoort is one of the nicest tracks – very, very fast,” explained Rockenfeller. “That suits me, I like that. Last year, I had a fantastic experience there with my first victory. If we’re in a good position again this time and the car runs well a similar success should be possible. But in the DTM you start every weekend from zero. You’ve got to fight for every thousandth – and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Swede Mattias Ekström was one of several experienced drivers who struggled last time out at the Nürburgring, and having dropped to seventh in the driver’s championship he is hoping to find form again this weekend, having not scored for two races now.

“Zandvoort is one of my favorite tracks,” said Ekström. “I’ve driven many races there and have a lot of fond memories – for instance of my first DTM victory in 2002. After a few weekends on which we found ourselves struggling I’m hoping for a straightforward and solid race.”

Timo Scheider is presently enduring his worst start to a DTM season since 2006, when he joined Audi. The former double champion has never won at the Dutch circuit, and hopes that his fortunes will change this weekend.

“Zandvoort has been my favorite track for years,” admitted Scheider, 33. “I’ve already been on the pole position there three times but haven’t won a race yet. Maybe, of all times, everything will fit together in this strange year. I’m eager to see how the weather will develop. At the moment, the forecast isn’t so good, which could make for an especially thrilling race.”

One Audi driver who doesn’t count the circuit amongst their favourites is Swiss racer Rahel Frey. After taking her strongest result of the season last weekend with 14th, the Audi Sport Team Abt driver hopes to keep the momentum going into this weekend as the DTM experiences its second back-to-back race of the season.

“Honestly speaking, I don’t have the fondest memories of Zandvoort because the race last year was difficult,” admitted Frey. “But I’ll be taking the momentum from the Nürburgring to the North Sea and will try and continue that.”

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