(Motorsport-Total.com) – After the Grasser team was the clear number 1 in the Lamborghini camp in the DTM last year, this year the presentation of the SSR performance team caused a stir: the former Porsche squad presented again three cars after changes of the brand for the Italian sports car brand, two of them with top drivers Mirko Bortolotti and Franck Perera.
In 2022 Grasser was the top Lamborghini team, SSR still in the Porsche camp
In addition, the SSR logo on the presentation was provided with the abbreviation “supported by Automobili Lamborghini Squadra Corse”, which was not the case for the Grasser Racing Team. Does that mean anything?
“We still have the same contract with Lamborghini as in previous years and we are very happy with it,” said team boss Gottfried Grasser in an interview with ‘Motorsport-Total.com’.
Grasser confirms: 2023 with two Lamborghinis in the DTM
The Austrian is not disappointed with the progress of SSR Performance: “We are in a long-term partnership with the brand and we will be in our tenth year next year. I don’t think many teams can say that about themselves. We are proud to have a good partner and I think it is together. “
However, Lamborghini’s GT3 specialist Bortolotti, who spent many years in the cockpit at Grasser, and fellow French works driver Perera have now ended up at SSR Performance. Drivers like Romain Grosjean were brought in for the LMDh program.
So how is the Grasser team preparing for the 2023 DTM season? “There will be two cars,” confirms Grasser, which he announced shortly before Christmas 2022. The team also got Lamborghini’s first starting number 19 and 63 – the first Lamborghini sports car was presented in 1963. Regarding the question of two pilots what he will depend on, Grasser keeps a low profile: “I can’t say anything about that yet.”
Schmid is proving himself as a Grasser driver in the DTM
One of the two pilots will definitely be Clemens Schmid. Because the Tyrolean, who surprised again and again last year with his speed, especially in qualifying, and who was on course for a long podium finish at the DTM season finale in Hockenheim after starting from third place before the pitfall . of the race, has already revealed that he is ready to be registered for the 2023 DTM season.
“I’m really looking forward to another great program with the Grasser Racing Team,” Schmid said in the ‘.Motor22 TVon Youtube. “Many thanks to Gottfried at this stage, because there will also be a program in the GT World Challenge Endurance. Very interesting!”
Will Clemens Schmid find a partner like his counterpart in Grasser?
In addition to DTM, Schmid will also start in GT World Challenge Europe, which has no overlap, and can therefore look forward to a comprehensive program in the second year of DTM.
Grasser 2023 with two Austrian drivers?
But who will be the second pilot? As ‘Motorsport-Total.com’ has learned from a good source, it is said to be another Austrian. That would be a big surprise. But who could that be?
Former DTM drivers Lucas Auer, Philipp Eng and Thomas Preining may be dropped because they are competing for other manufacturers. Ferdinand Habsburg is interested in a DTM return, but is also competing for WRT in the WEC’s LMP2 class this year. Besides that, his manager Jamie Campbell-Walter has confirmed in January that Habsburg “definitely will not run the DTM” in 2023. According to information from ‘Motorsport-Total.com’, nothing has changed.
Christian Klien, who made a few guest DTM appearances at JP-Motorsport-McLaren in 2021, is driving for the team from Erkelenz in the GT World Challenge Europe race series this year. In addition, he works as an expert in Formula 1 racing at Red Bull ServusTV, so he has a tight schedule.
Hofer and Wishofer as hot candidates
A theoretical candidate would be 23-year-old Max Hofer, who has been part of the Lamborghini subsidiary Audi’s squad since this year. He already drove for Grasser in the home race at Spielberg in 2021 in the ADAC GT Masters.
But Mick Wishofer, who is also 23 years old, could also be an option: The Viennese competed with Emil Frey in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo in the ADAC GT Masters in 2022 and won together with Finn Konsta Lappalainen in Zandvoort. He even has a low profile at Lamborghini and, like Schmid, is backed by Austrian drinks maker Grapos.