A total of 28 drivers will tackle the 16 races. Each of the eight racing weekends features two sprint events with the finale contested at the Hockenheimring. This year marks the first time that the GT3 racing series will be contested under the ADAC umbrella. Unlike other championships based on international GT3 regulations, the DTM continues to follow the policy of one car and one driver. Porsche supports its customer teams Manthey EMA, Team75 Bernhard and Toksport WRT with a parts service, extensive guidance from its performance engineers as well as with factory drivers and other racers from the extended Porsche squad.
The customer teams and their drivers
“We’re heading into the 2023 DTM season with a very interesting driver line-up,” states Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R. “Our three partner teams Manthey EMA, Team75 Bernhard and Toksport WRT all have a wealth of experience and are among the heavyweights of the scene. They all follow very different approaches with their drivers – from the young guns at Team75 Bernhard and the seasoned specialists at Manthey EMA to the combination of both approaches at Toksport WRT. It’ll be exciting to see which concept will ultimately prove to be the most promising.”
Team75 Bernhard contests its second full DTM season in 2023. With Ayhancan Güven from Turkey and Germany’s Laurin Heinrich, two former Porsche Juniors will compete for the team run by the two-time Le Mans outright winner and current Porsche brand ambassador Timo Bernhard. Güven, the 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup vice-champion, has already notched up DTM experience from his guest drives in 2022. Heinrich won the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland last year.
Newcomer Manthey EMA puts its trust in an experienced DTM crew. Last year, Thomas Preining drove for Team75 Bernhard. Thanks to his two race wins, the Austrian works driver remained a contender for the DTM title until the very last round of the season. His teammate is Dennis Olsen from Norway, who also contested the entire 2022 DTM season at the wheel of a Porsche – and achieved one race victory.
Toksport WRT also tackles the DTM for the first time and relies on a mix of experience and youth. Christian Engelhart from Germany contested two DTM races last year. He will play the role of mentor for youngster Tim Heinemann (Germany), who is climbing the career ladder into the GT3 series after winning two titles in the GT4-based DTM Trophy.
The 2023 DTM season
While the ADAC will run the DTM for the first time this year, very little will change in the general format of the popular series. Racing cars based on the FIA GT3 regulations will continue to be fielded. As usual, the calendar includes eight doubleheader events. Between the season opener next weekend in Oschersleben and the traditional season finale in Hockenheim in October, the German racing series will make stops at the Norisring in Nuremberg, the Nürburgring, the Lausitzring and the Sachsenring. Moreover, the series travels beyond Germany’s borders to Zandvoort in the Netherlands at the end of June and Spielberg, Austria, in September.
Each DTM race weekend features two free practices (45 to 60 minutes), two 20-minute qualifying sessions and two 60-minute races. In each race, a pit stop with a tyre change is mandatory.
In the DTM, the ADAC offers a driver, team and manufacturer classification. For the latter, the two best-placed vehicles of each manufacturer are taken into account for each race. The points’ distribution follows the proven FIA formula (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1). The three top qualifiers receive additional points towards the drivers’ classification – with the fastest earning three points, and one point going to the third fastest. Following the same scheme, the three quickest mandatory pit stops per race count towards the “Pit Stop Challenge”.
German DTM fans can watch all races live on the free TV station ProSieben.
Tyre regulations pose a special challenge
Fourteen teams, each with two drivers, have registered for the 2023 DTM season. Of the six brands represented, Porsche has the largest vehicle contingent with half a dozen nine-elevens. To ensure exciting and fair competition, the proven Balance of Performance (BoP) developed by the SRO Motorsport Group puts the various racing car models on a level playing field when it comes to performance. The DTM racing cars will run on control tyres from Pirelli. This combination of GT3 vehicles, SRO-BoP and Pirelli tyres is a tried-and-true formula from other series.
“While tyre warmers are permitted in the GT World Challenge Europe, for example, and no tyre changes are required in the ADAC GT Masters, the tyres in the DTM are not allowed to be preheated,” says Sebastian Golz, outlining a special feature of the regulations. “At the start of the race and after switching tyres, the drivers have to then get the tyres up to temperature and within the optimal performance window. Not least because of the different drive concepts of the vehicles, it’ll be interesting to see who does this best. Tyre management and pit stop strategy definitely play an important role in the DTM.”
Penalty lap as a new way to crack down on minor infringements
A new feature of the DTM is the so-called penalty lap, which is already used in the ADAC GT Masters. In addition to drive-through and stop-and-go penalties, the stewards of the meeting have another sanction option for less serious violations of the rules. When handed a penalty lap, on the following lap, the affected driver must drive through the specially set up and specifically marked penalty zone on each circuit at a maximum speed of 50 km/h. The time lost as a result is expected to be around five seconds. To warn the drivers behind, the penalised party must activate the hazard warning lights at a defined point before starting the penalty lap.
Comments ahead of the race
Laurin Heinrich (Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R #75): “I’m super excited about my debut weekend in the DTM, of course. The fact that this debut takes place in Oschersleben means a great deal to me – that’s where I drove my first ever racing car and I also clinched my first victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland there two years ago.”
Thomas Preining (Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91): “We’re back racing at last. It’s been seven months since the finale last season. Since then, the suspense has steadily growing. Because we managed to quickly establish the basic framework with the new team, we were able to start preparations early. I think it’s paying off. My goal for the season is to be consistent from the start and to score points regularly.”
Christian Engelhart (Toksport WRT, Porsche 911 GT3 R #99): “I can hardly wait to start the new DTM season with Toksport WRT. There’s no doubt we’re competing in a series with an extremely high level of competition. In the past few weeks, we’ve worked hard and prepared meticulously. Now it’s a matter of pulling it all together. I like the Oschersleben racetrack. I have good memories of it. In 2020, I took home the ADAC GT Masters title in the Magdeburg region.”
The schedule (all times CEST)
Friday, 26 May
12:15 pm – 1:00 pm: Free practice 1
4:15 pm – 5:00 pm: Free practice 2
Saturday, 27 May
9:15 am – 9:25 am: Qualifying 1
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Race 1
Sunday, 28 May
9:35 am – 9:55 am: Qualifying 2
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Race 2
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)