27 drivers took part in the controversial first free practice session at the beginning of the afternoon this Friday for the official return of the DTM. Lamborghini’s official driver Mirko Bortolotti set an exemplary time. At team level, no less than 14 representing 6 manufacturers (Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Audi and Ferrari), entered for the entire season consisting of eight meetings (and two races per meeting) .
Although everyone thought it would disappear following the withdrawal of its historic promoter (ITR and its boss Gerhard Berger), the DTM is in good shape at the beginning of 2023 under the supervision of ADAC, the German automobile club. BMW and its outgoing champion Sheldon van der Linde are getting their title back on track. The South African will have a tough time facing his famous teammate René Rast (three-time DTM champion in 2017, 2019 and 2020) from Audi and 3rd in 2022. and new recruits Propeller. The great Kelvin van der Linde will be entered in the Audi R8 LMS from the ABT Sportsline team.
The number of drivers who can win this season is very high. There is Marco Wittmann (champion in 2014 and 2016) racing in the BMW M4 GT3 of Project 1. Porsche is calling for teams and experienced men to try to shine in 2023. Manthey Racing employs a pair of 911 GT3 R. for Dane Dennis Olsen and Thomas Preining of Austria (GT Masters champion in 2019). Timo Bernhard’s team, on the other hand, trusts Ayhancan Güven and Laurin Heinrich. Mercedes-AMG will be defended by three teams including Lucas Stolz’s HRT. Maro Engel drives an AMG GT3 Evo from the Landgraf team. Ferrari (winner of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring last weekend) has given the team its new Emil Frey 296 GT3, Jack Aitken and Thierry Vermeulen will be behind the wheel.
On the track, the German championship offers new features. Inspired by MotoGP and “long lap”. Drivers penalized for infringements will have to go through the penalty area allowing them to keep their hopes of fighting for a good position in the race. Estimated time is about five seconds. Handicap ballast will weigh the race winner’s car along with the drivers accompanying him on the podium. 20 kg for the first, 10 kg for the second and 5 kg for the third in the cycle. For the distribution of points, the scale becomes completely greedy with units distributed to the first 15 of the final classification.
Two races are on the program this weekend, meeting this Saturday at 9:45 am for the first qualifying session and 1:30 pm for Race 1. Rebelote Sunday morning at 9:30 am for qualifying before Race 2 still at 1: 30. p.m
DTM 2023 season calendar
Oschersleben (May 26-28), Zandvoort (June 23-25), Norisring (July 7-9), Nürburgring (August 4-6), Lausitzring (August 18-20), Sachsenring (September 8-10), Red Bull Ring (22-24 September), Hockenheim (20-22 October).
All DTM results can be found on AutoHebdo.fr
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