The many fans of the DTM can look forward to a season of records: With 29 race cars – including six Audi R8 LMS from three teams – and drivers from 15 nations, the grid is larger than ever before since the series was relaunched in 2000. René Rast, three-time champion with Audi, returns to the professional racing series after a one-year break. The DTM Trophy as another league in which five Audi R8 LMS GT4 cars from two customer teams will participate completes the popular racing platform. For the season opener from April 29 to May 1, the DTM teams will travel to Portimão for the first time. The circuit on the Mediterranean coast is the first of eight rounds in five European countries. In Portugal, the TCR Europe is also part of the program with three Audi RS 3 LMS gen II cars, among others.
“In 2021, the DTM has proven that a large audience has remained loyal to it even with the switch to GT3 sports cars and that the races continue to be absolutely thrilling,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “This season, the DTM will be even better with a large and international grid and we’re looking forward to competing for the best places with a top-class line-up. Last year, the Audi R8 LMS was among the leading race cars in the DTM with four victories and a total of ten podium positions.” Team ABT Sportsline of Team Principal Thomas Biermaier again relies on Kelvin van der Linde, who was the best Audi driver last year as third in the standings. The South African will be joined by two successful teammates who are also part of the Audi Sport squad: The German René Rast, title winner with Audi in 2017, 2019 and 2020 and 24-time race winner in the DTM, returns to the scene of his greatest successes. The Swiss Ricardo Feller will also take on the challenge to race in DTM for the first time. He won the ADAC GT Masters last year at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS. Team ABT Sportsline from Kempten has already provided the champion in the DTM five times since 2002.
The driver lineup at Team Rosberg of former Formula 1 world champion Keke Rosberg remains unchanged. The squad led by Kimmo Liimatainen is based in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse and has won the drivers title three times in the past five years. Swiss Audi Sport driver Nico Müller, DTM runner-up in 2019 and 2020, shares the pits with American privateer Dev Gore. New to the DTM but well known at Audi Sport customer racing is Attempto Racing. The team of Arkin Aka from Hanover, which has been racing GT cars across Europe for years and has already won a 12-hour race with the R8 LMS, is preparing a race car for Marius Zug. The 19-year-old up-and-comer has gained his first GT3 experience in Italian racing.
The ProSieben TV station broadcasts all 16 sprint races of the eight Europe-wide DTM events live. But it is not only the GT3 race cars that offer exciting sport. For the third year in a row, the DTM Trophy gives up-and-coming drivers in GT4 race cars the chance to catch the attention of the DTM team bosses. As in 2021, Heide-Motorsport from Witten is represented in the field with three Audi R8 LMS GT4 cars. Team boss Michael Heide fills his cockpits with South African Mikaeel Pitamber, German Sophie Hofmann and one other driver. As another Audi Sport customer racing customer, T3 Motorsport has entered the series. Jens Feucht’s team is entering its third season with the Audi R8 LMS GT4. After two years in the ADAC GT4 Germany, it has now switched to the DTM Trophy. The team from Dresden is preparing one production-based sports car each for the Finn Matias Salonen and the US American John Paul Southern Jr. The DTM Trophy will be held on seven joint weekends with the DTM. For the first time, the TCR Europe will also be making a guest appearance on this platform. Three of its seven rounds will be held by the popular touring car category as part of the DTM supporting program, starting with the season opener at Portimão. The long-standing Audi customer team Comtoyou Racing of Jean-Michel Baert, 2020 winner of the TCR Europe, will field three Audi RS 3 LMS gen II cars. In the cockpits: crowd favorite Tom Coronel, fourth in the standings last year, last year’s runner-up Franco Girolami and TCR Europe Diamond class winner Viktor Davidovski.
Teams and drivers on the 2022 DTM platform
Audi R8 LMS #3 ABT Sportsline, Kelvin van der Linde
Audi R8 LMS #7 ABT Sportsline, Ricardo Feller
Audi R8 LMS #12 Team Rosberg, Dev Gore
Audi R8 LMS #33 Team ABT, René Rast
Audi R8 LMS #51 Team Rosberg, Nico Müller
Audi R8 LMS #66 Attempto Racing, Marius Zug
Audi R8 LMS GT4 #17 Heide-Motorsport, Mikaeel Pitamber
Audi R8 LMS GT4 #48 Heide-Motorsport, Sophie Hofmann
Audi R8 LMS GT4 #66 T3 Motorsport, Matias Salonen
Audi R8 LMS GT4 #77 T3 Motorsport, John Paul Southern Jr.
Audi R8 LMS GT4 Heide-Motorsport, NN