Dutch sextet in ADAC GT Masters premiere at Zandvoort Christiaan Frankenhout and Jeroen Bleekemolen as local heroes Netherlands second-most successful country in ADAC GT Masters
There are no fewer than six Dutch drivers in the line-up for next weekend's ADAC GT Masters at Zandvoort, most of them familiar with every inch of the tarmac and every individual dune. This will be first time that more than 40 super sports cars have contested the ADAC GT Masters at the circuit by the North Sea, and the occasion is bound to generate huge local interest, with Peter Kox (48), Christiaan Frankenhout (30), Jeroen den Boer (24), Simon Knap (23), Patrick Huisman (45) and special guest star Jeroen Bleekemolen (30) all competing in their home race. The Dutch sextet in the Super Sports Car League have good reason to feel optimistic about the forthcoming race - after all, the Netherlands is the second most successful country in the ADAC GT Masters with a total of 14 race wins. DB Motorsport sole Dutch-run outfit in ADAC GT Masters Anyone active in the Netherlands motor racing milieu will be a frequent visitor to the former Formula 1 venue. "I am very happy to be racing at Zandvoort again," says Jeroen den Boer who partners compatriot Simon Knap in the BMW Z4 entered by DB Motorsport, the only Dutch team in the ADAC GT Masters. "If you're part of the Dutch motorsport scene, you'll be pounding the tarmac at Zandvoort almost every weekend. The circuit is only about 50 kilometres from our workshop, and we are all very much looking forward to the race. I am expecting the field to be much more closely matched at Zandvoort than in the season opener, and with 40 cars jostling for position on this rather narrow track, it's going to be very exciting." Another driver making a relatively short journey is Christiaan Frankenhout who shares the cockpit of a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with Kenneth Heyer (32, Wegberg / Heico Motorsport). Frankenhout, who notched up the first victory for the gullwing Mercedes in the 2011 ADAC GT Masters Championship, lives in nearby Amsterdam. At tenth in the ADAC GT Masters standings, he is currently the highest placed of the local drivers: "I was a student at the motor racing driver academy in Zandvoort; it's where I competed in my first ever race and secured the first win of my career. I am hoping for decent results in the two ADAC GT Masters races this weekend." Peter Kox most successful Dutchman in ADAC GT Masters Although he has more wins in the ADAC GT Masters than any other local driver, Peter Kox (Lamborghini Gallardo / Reiter Engineering) actually has the least experience of driving on the sand-strewn circuit by the North Sea. "Because I have spent the last 20 years driving almost exclusively in international racing series, I have only been in action at Zandvoort on a few occasions," says the 2010 champion (nine wins in the season). Meanwhile, team-mate Marc A Hayek (41, CH) will be focusing on his campaign to retain his amateur title. Kox: "I have only contested three races on the new circuit configuration, and that was in a touring car. My team-mate Marc Hayek and I will have to make optimum use of free practice to familiarise ourselves with the layout." Former DTM driver Patrick Huisman has two good reasons to look forward to his home race: the four-time Porsche Supercup champion has the pleasure of driving the new McLaren MP4-12C, plus he will be making his first outing of the season at Zandvoort, having missed the opening two races at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben after an accident in free practice. Guest appearance for ex-DTM driver Jeroen Bleekemolen Jeroen Bleekemolen is to make a guest appearance in the Super Sports Car League at Zandvoort. The former DTM driver must be one of the busiest racing drivers, with a schedule that takes him to one competition or another every weekend - and frequently on different continents. Bleekemolen, who grew up a stone's throw away from the Zandvoort track, has happy memories of the ADAC GT Masters: on the first race weekend of the 2007 ADAC GT at the Nürburgring, Bleekemolen qualified in pole position. At Zandvoort, Bleekemolen is paired with Robert Renauer (27, Jedenhofen / FROGREEN CO2 neutral) in the Porsche 911 GT3. "I hope we can build on the podium finish for the team," says Bleekemolen. "But most of all, I'm looking forward to the support of the many Dutch fans at Zandvoort."