Zandvoort DTM Weekend Review

The NGMsport Mosler at Circuit Zandvoort in Holland.

What should have been a straight forward weekend turned out to be anything but for the NGMsport team during their latest trip to Europe with the Supercar Challenge. Heading out to the Dutch coast and the Zandvoort circuit the championship was taking second billing as the DTM circus took centre stage. As a result Supercar Challenge was spread over a leisurely three days with practise and qualifying on Friday and a single race on Saturday and again on Sunday.

Friday afternoon saw the first practise session allowing drivers Javier Morcillo and Manuel Cintrano their first proper view of the circuit. With only simulator time under their belts the drivers had just 60 minutes to learn their way around the fast sweeping corners of the historic Dutch circuit. The car proved to be running sweetly and confidence was high as at the end of the session Morcillo posted the 5th fastest time.

Later in the afternoon qualifying went well with Morcillo securing P5 but on the very last lap whilst exiting the slowest corner with the least amount of available run off, Manuel Cintrano lost control of the Mosler and piled nose first into the concrete wall. With the front of the car destroyed it looked as if the weekend was over before it had fully begun.

With damage to the front suspension, radiator and the crash box there seemed little chance of getting the car repaired simply due to a lack of spare parts. However across the paddock the Blueberry Racing Team, who were having their own problems with their Mosler, were able to offer a replacement crash box and a number of other replacement parts. The only catch was that it would be around 11pm before it could be delivered to the circuit and being from a newer car the fixings would be different.

The team work late into the night repairing the car.

With this news the team set about preparing the car and manufacturing new fixings to secure the crashbox in place. As the paddock slept the NGMsport team worked through the night and by the morning the Mosler had been rebuilt and was ready to take up its place on the grid.

Race 1 saw Morcillo hold P5 and stay in touch with the leaders until a puncture in the final few minutes saw the team drop down the order to finish in P14. Disappointment was tempered by the fact that the rebuilt car had performed well and with a few extra tweaks would be ready for race 2 on Sunday.

Following the blistering heat of Friday and Saturday Sunday dawned overcast and mercifully cool with a slight threat of rain in the air. On the grid the Mosler once again lined up in P5 and from the start Morcillo was battling for 4th place. A mistake from the car ahead allowed the Spaniard to sweep past and build a seven second lead until a safety car bunched the pack up. This proved advantageous for Morcillo who was now able to harry the 3rd place Dodge Viper of Roger Grouwels until passing him between turns 9 and 10.

As the cars ahead took their pit stops the Mosler took the lead and following some flying laps from Morcillo Manuel Cintrano was able to rejoin the race In P2. Unfortunately for Cintrano he was up against the faster professional drivers and he was unable to withstand their assault on him. By the end of the race he had dropped to 8th place overall.

Javier Morcillo leads the Dodge Viper of Roger Grouwels

Jurek Biegus.

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