Participants had plenty of tracktime last weekend with six practice sessions over 12 hours and 45 minutes. With a 25-strong field of GT3 racing cars, almost all competitors were represented on the 4.318-kilometre Grand Prix circuit. The DTM season gets underway on the last weekend in May with the first two races held in Oschersleben.
The DTM made a great start into a new era last weekend with the official test and media days at the Red Bull Ring. The GT3 racing series will be run for the first time under the umbrella of the ADAC, Europe’s largest automobile association. The three Porsche customer teams Manthey EMA, Team75 Bernhard and Toksport WRT each field two 911 GT3 R. The Porsche covered a total of 816 laps. This equates to a distance of around 3,523 kilometres on the 4.318-kilometre alpine circuit. Of the 28 registered vehicles in this season’s DTM, 25 took part in the two-day event in Spielberg, Austria. With six 911 entries, Porsche is represented by the largest contingent among the six brands contesting the 2023 DTM. Cool but invariably dry weather ensured favourable track conditions.
“Our three Porsche customer teams were able to tick off all items on their schedule without any notable problems,” explains Sebastian Golz, Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R. “The DTM environment is ideal: a top-class driver line-up, extremely experienced and strong teams as well as a balanced, internationally comparable and thus transparent Balance of Performance classification guarantee close competition. Fans, drivers and participants can all look forward to a thrilling series.”
The management team at Manthey EMA, Team75 Bernhard and Toksport WRT essentially had the same priorities at the Red Bull Ring: to verify the set-up parameters and configurations, simulate qualifying laps and longer runs as well as practice routine procedures such as pit stops. “This was our first time at a racetrack with both cars and our full team contingent and so we could refine our internal processes,” explains the Team75 boss and Porsche ambassador Timo Bernhard. “Over the weekend, we learned a lot that we can immediately implement at the first race in Oschersleben. All in all, we’ve made great progress in our pre-season preparations.”
The three Porsche customer teams rely on a combination of seasoned drivers and talented youngsters. The Manthey EMA drivers Dennis Olsen (Norway) and Thomas Preining (Austria) have already scored victories in last year’s DTM. Team75’s driver Ayhancan Güven (Turkey) and Christian Engelhart (Germany, Toksport WRT) have also previously contested DTM races. However, the two Germans Laurin Heinrich (Team75 Bernhard) and Tim Heinemann (Toksport WRT) head into new territory. An interesting side note: With Olsen, Preining, Güven and Heinrich, four of the six 911 GT3 R DTM drivers have come up through the ranks via the Porsche Junior programme.
Dennis Olsen (Manthey EMA): “It was nice to come together with everyone here as part of the test and media days and get a first real taste of the new season. Obviously, we have a lot to learn with the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. Now we drivers will sit down with the engineers and take time to analyse the results. We want to put together a good overall package and prepare as perfectly as possible for the first races.”
Laurin Heinrich (Team75 Bernhard): “This was my first official session in the DTM – and the debut meant a great deal to me. It was my first time at the wheel of a GT3 car in Spielberg, which was no small adjustment for me as a driver. I’m very pleased with how things went. We also did a great job as a team and can now feel confident heading into the first round of the season at Oschersleben.”
Tim Heinemann (Toksport WRT): “The tests went very well. We covered around 600 kilometres each day and tried out a lot of things. I got the chance to familiarise myself with the car. The 992-generation 911 GT3 R is new for all of us Porsche drivers. After advancing from the DTM Trophy, I’m now getting used to the new environment and adapting my driving style to suit the GT3 racing car. So my main priority was to clock up as many kilometres as possible. I achieved that so I’m feeling very positive. It feels great and I’m optimistic about the start of the season.”
Porsche customer teams contesting the 2023 DTM
#90 Dennis Olsen (Norway)
#91 Thomas Preining (Austria)
#24 Ayhancan Güven (Turkey)
#75 Laurin Heinrich (Germany)
#9 Tim Heinemann (Germany)
#99 Christian Engelhart (Germany)
The 2023 DTM calendar (with two races at each event)
|26 – 28 May||Oschersleben (Germany)|
|23 – 25 June||Zandvoort (Netherlands)|
|7 – 9 July||Norisring (Germany)|
|4 – 6 August||Nürburgring (Germany)|
|18 – 20 August||Lausitzring (Germany)|
|8 – 10 September||Sachsenring (Germany)|
|22 – 24 September||Red Bull Ring (Austria)|
|20 – 22 October||Hockenheim (Germany)|