The 19-year-old Dutchman Thierry Vermeulen and BMW works driver Nicky Catsburg have a home race in Zandvoort and want to celebrate a motorsport festival with the fans, family, friends and acquaintances. Vermeulen can rely on tips from Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen.
“We have to find the right vehicle setup, then a podium or even more is possible. We can’t afford to make any mistakes because the ADAC GT Masters is one of the best GT series ever. And as fourth in the table, we naturally have our sights set on the championship,” explains the 34-year-old, for whom starting in front of his family, friends and Dutch fans means a little extra motivation.
The young Dutchman can not only fall back on the experience of his driver colleague, but also on the advice of his fast compatriot Max Verstappen. Thierry Vermeulen grew up with the Formula 1 world champion, his father Raymond is Verstappen’s manager. “I often get tips from Max and especially in Zandvoort he knows how to win. He also supports me by sharing my content on his website. But I have to find my own way and a series as strong as the ADAC GT Masters helps me a lot.”
The race on the North Sea is the highlight of the season for Vermeulen: “I love the technically demanding Circuit Zandvoort. It has high-speed passages, banking corners and is an old-school, unforgiving course. The modern routes have wide asphalt run-off areas, where you can take more risks. In Zandvoort you end up in gravel or against a wall if you overdo it. And then the race is usually over,” explains Vermeulen, who doesn’t promise any miracles on his home track.
“The ADAC GT Masters is an incredibly strong and balanced series with first-class brands and extremely fast drivers. I’m in my third year as a professional motorsport driver, I want to take a few steps forward on my home track and keep learning. A one-digit place like in Oschersleben would be a success. The prerequisite for this is a qualifying result among the top ten.”
All races in the ADAC GT Masters start at 1 p.m. The TV channel NITRO will present the races live from 12.30 p.m.