DTM in the dunes: ABT drivers full of anticipation for Zandvoort

Off to the dunes! For the first time since 2018, the DTM will be back at Zandvoort (Saturday and Sunday live on ProSieben from 1 PM). The anticipation at ABT Sportsline for the event on the Dutch North Sea coast could hardly be greater. The two ABT drivers Ricardo Feller (23/Switzerland) and Kelvin van der Linde (27/South Africa) love the 4.259-kilometre race track. And the team has also celebrated many great successes on the spectacular circuit in the dunes.

Especially 29 September 2002 will never be forgotten at the Johann-Abt-Strasse in Kempten: On that Sunday, Laurent Aiello won the first DTM title for ABT Sportsline at Zandvoort. The small private team from the Allgäu region had beaten the factory teams from Mercedes-Benz and Opel at that time and thus caused a sensation.

Since then, ABT Sportsline has had many reasons to celebrate in Zandvoort. The team of Hans-Jürgen Abt and Thomas Biermaier has won seven DTM races on the North Sea coast. And the two current ABT drivers have both been on the top step of the podium at Zandvoort as well.

Ricardo Feller: “Zandvoort my favourite circuit on the DTM calendar”

Ricardo Feller won the last race of the ADAC GT Masters at Zandvoort in 2019 before the circuit’s reconstruction and the first after it in 2021. “In the same year, I also won there in the GT World Challenge,” recalls the young Swiss. “That’s not the only reason why Zandvoort is my favourite circuit on the DTM calendar. It’s simply mega beautiful there. The proximity to the sea and the beach right next to the track make for a cool ambience. The track has a great flow and doesn’t forgive any mistakes. It goes up and down. Driving through the bankings is mega cool. But actually, every corner at Zandvoort is fun.”

Kelvin van der Linde: “Oldschool layout is cool”

Kelvin van der Linde won at Zandvoort in the GT World Challenge in 2020 and also has many good memories of the dune circuit. “Zandvoort has always been one of my favourite tracks,” says the South African, who lives near Kempten. “Track limits are hardly an issue there. The oldschool layout is just cool – it gives us drivers the opportunity to make a difference. I’ve driven a lot of good races there in the past and I’m confident for my first DTM races at Zandvoort.”

Martin Tomczyk: “We know we have a strong package”

The two ABT Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II cars made a strong impression during testing at Zandvoort last week. “It was good that we were able to test there for a day and that our findings from Oschersleben were confirmed,” said ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk. “We know we have a strong package. We also practised pit stops a lot in the team in order to be really perfect at Zandvoort. The fans can look forward to an interesting DTM weekend at a great race track.”


ABT driver Ricardo Feller about ...

... the special features of the track at Zandvoort: “You need a well-balanced car for every type of corner (low-speed, medium-speed, high-speed) because the track demands everything. A strong front axle is important to be able to position the car well at the entrance of the mostly very long corners. But the rear axle also has to be good, because otherwise you can’t stay on the throttle in the high-speed corners.”

... the coolest section: “Scheivlak, directly after Turn 3. There you go up the hill and then downhill into a fast right-hand corner.”

... the best overtaking opportunity: “Overtaking is not easy at Zandvoort, so qualifying will again be extremely important. Turn 3 offers a bit more space in the new Formula 1 variant. You might be able to get alongside another car there, but that involves a lot of risk. The best opportunities are at the end of the start-finish straight and at the end of the back straight before the chicane.”

... the best spectator spot: “I walked around the track a few times during testing last year. I found Turn 7 particularly exciting. The cars come over a crest there. It looks really cool from the outside.”

... the topic of tyres: “It shouldn’t take as long as at Oschersleben until the tyre is working. The tarmac at Zandvoort is relatively aggressive. That will also help us to get the tyres up to temperature earlier.”

Download video: A lap with Ricardo Feller at Zandvoort


Did you know that ...

... Jean-Marie Pfaff, one of the world’s best football goalkeepers in the 80s – among others at FC Bayern München – will visit ABT Sportsline in Zandvoort?

... Erik Bouts, CEO of ABT partner Südpack, will come to Zandvoort with guests from the Netherlands?

... Mattias Ekström (2002) and Mike Rockenfeller (2011) each celebrated their first DTM victories with ABT Sportsline at Zandvoort?

... ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk won at Zandvoort as a racing driver in 2007 and was on the podium there a total of four times in the DTM?

... Martin Tomczyk was not only successful at Zandvoort on the race track, but also won a race organised by Audi there in 2006 with boats made of paper?

... Kelvin van der Linde and Ricardo Feller will try their hand at beach sailing near Zandvoort on Thursday?

... the new high-end camper ABT XNH will serve as base camp for the two ABT drivers during this event?

... Ricardo Feller was in action last week at the Track Day of ABT partner Scherer at the Nürburgring?

... Ricardo Feller and Kelvin van der Linde both celebrated their birthdays between Oschersleben and Zandvoort?

... Ricardo Feller celebrated his birthday with a lunch with his family at home in Switzerland?

... Kelvin van der Linde’s birthday started at 7 AM on Tuesday with the roll-out for the DTM race at Zandvoort at the ADAC driving safety centre in Kempten?

... Kelvin van der Linde attended the MotoGP race at the Sachsenring last weekend together with his brother Sheldon and Jordan Pepper?

... ProSieben TV commentator Eddie Mielke gave the trio a deep look behind the scenes of MotoGP?

... Kelvin van der Linde was a TV expert at the Formula E race in Jakarta and he will also be on the microphone at the Formula E race in Rome?

... a gearbox failure caused Kelvin van der Linde’s retirement in the second race at Oschersleben?