This weekend marks the end of the long wait for the start of the new DTM season. Motorsport Arena Oschersleben (GER) will host the first two races out of a total of 16. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) and Team Schubert Motorsport aim to defend their titles in the driver and team championships.
Action begins on Thursday with a test day, allowing drivers and teams to adjust their cars to the track. Schubert Motorsport is naturally familiar with their home circuit, especially from their time in the ADAC GT Masters. Like van der Linde, his teammate René Rast (GER) will also compete in a DTM race at Oschersleben for the first time, despite all his experience – and it will also be his first race as a BMW M works driver behind the wheel of the BMW M4 GT3. Only Marco Wittmann (GER), who competes for the new Project 1 team, has previous DTM race experience on the track.
Quotes ahead of the DTM season opener:
Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “After experiencing several highlights at race tracks around the world from the perspective of BMW M Motorsport in the past weeks and months, we are very excited to witness the start of the new DTM season, under the leadership of the ADAC. With the DTM title wins for Sheldon van der Linde and Team Schubert, the BMW M4 GT3 achieved its greatest successes in the debut season of 2022. The vehicle has since proved its capability to win and secure titles on different types of race tracks and in all race formats. Consequently, we are optimistic about playing a leading role in the upcoming season with our three high-calibre BMW M works drivers who together won a total of six DTM driver titles to date. At the same time, I look forward to seeing the new BMW M4 GT4 and the BMW M2 CS Racing in action as part of the DTM’s support programme.”
Sheldon van der Linde (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “For us as the Schubert team, it is probably the biggest race weekend of the season right from the start, as it takes place just five minutes away from our headquarters. Consequently, many guests will come to support us for this home game on Saturday and Sunday. Naturally, my goal is to put on a good show for these fans and hopefully achieve podium finishes. Whether that will be possible remains to be seen, as we are still not a hundred percent sure about our position with the new Pirelli tyres. We are aware that as the defending champions, we are under special pressure, but we have done everything in preparation to enter the season optimally prepared.”
René Rast (#33 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “My first races as a BMW M works driver in the BMW M4 GT3 – finally! I am very excited and looking forward to starting my new career with BMW M Motorsport at Oschersleben. However, the weekend is not only special for me, but also for the Schubert team. It’s a great thing to compete at our home race as the defending champions with the number one on Sheldon’s car. I haven’t raced in Oschersleben for a long time, but I generally have good memories of the track. I can’t wait to get started.”
Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Project 1): “Finally, it’s time to get back on track! After participating in several races and racing series this year, I am now very excited to begin the DTM season at Oschersleben with BMW M Motorsport, my new team Project 1, my long-time partner Schaeffler, and the ‘Green Machine’. Oschersleben returns to the racing calendar after a long time, but I still remember my DTM races there and my early days in motorsport very well. It was in the Formula BMW that I competed in my very first single-seater races at the Motorsport Arena. For the upcoming weekend, I hope for a good season start, although we are aware that as a new team, we need to find our way at this extremely high level. We will definitely give our best for good results.“
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