Number Crunching – The Zandvoort weekend in figures
In the Netherlands, BMW finally battled their way out of the poor form they had displayed in the early stages of the season and courtesy of Marco Wittmann and António Félix da Costa, the Bavarians celebrated two superior wins, at Zandvoort’s dune circuit. In addition, they opened several new chapters in the DTM record books, with their dominant performances.
António Félix da Costa made history for his home country: he is the first Portuguese ever to have won a DTM race. To date, his compatriot Filipe Albuquerque was the best-placed Portuguese in a DTM race by having finished runner-up. Now, BMW has got the biggest number of drivers who demonstrated that they have got what it takes to win a DTM race on the grid. Apart from rookie Tom Blomqvist, every driver of the Munich based manufacturer’s line up has secured one DTM win at least.
When celebrating his triumph, Félix da Costa was 23 years and 315 days old. Only Gary Paffett, Bruno Spengler, Paul die Resta and Pascal Wehrlein were even younger when clinching their first DTM wins. Since yesterday, Félix da Costa is the 17th driver on the 2015 DTM grid with at least one race win under his belt. And the point in time for his debut win was typical: eight drivers celebrated their first victory in their second DTM season: only Augusto Farfus, Timo Glock and Maxime Martin scored the maximum of 25 points as early as in their debut season. Meanwhile, Timo Scheider had to wait longer than anybody else for making it to the highest step on the podium for the first time. He made his DTM debut in 2000 and only eight years later, in 2008 at Oschersleben, he celebrated his debut win.
Following his Zandvoort triumph, Félix da Costa is the eighth driver to have secured his debut win from pole. The triple, however, wasn’t to be as fellow BMW driver Timo Glock set the fastest race lap by crossing the line in 1:33.635 minutes, thus being more than two tenths of a second faster than the Portuguese on his fastest lap.
Zandvoort apparently seems to be a very popular venue for firs triumphs: With his win at the Dutch circuit, Félix da Costa followed the footsteps of Mattias Ekström and Mike Rockenfeller and consequently is the third driver to have left Zandvoort with the first DTM victory of his career under his belt. Hockenheim is the only other circuit that also was the venue of three debut wins.
Meanwhile, the winner of the Saturday race also made for changes in the record book of ‘New DTM’: Marco Wittmann celebrated his fifth DTM triumph altogether and is now on a par with Dutchman Christijan Albers. Wittmann and the Dutchman now jointly hold 10th position in the winners’ statistics.
On the other hand, this win wasn’t a special feat as the majority of the reigning champions succeeded in making it to the highest step of the podium, in a race in the season following their title triumph. Only Paul Di Resta, Martin Tomczyk and Mike Rockenfeller failed to do so.
At the same time, the Zandvoort weekend also made significant impact on the brand statistics: prior to the Dutch race meeting, BMW had scored an average of just 29 points per weekend but in the Netherlands, they added points galore to their tally: the brand with the blue and white logo scored a total of massive 149 points for the manufacturers’ championship – inter alia by making for a historic record in the Saturday race: never ago in the history of the sport, the top-seven positions in a race were secured by seven vehicles of the same manufacturer. But due to a penalty they weren’t rewarded with the 25 points for the win.
Despite this massively successful weekend, BMW still have to cope with holding third position in the manufacturer’s championship: their gap to Mercedes currently adds up to 12 points and the one to Audi even to massive 60 points.