WORDS BY ADAM PROUD | IMAGES BY AUDI/RED BULL/MERCEDES
This year's crop of DTM drivers are expecting this season to be one of the most competitive years of the series yet.
This year will mark the second campaign since DTM switched to the ‘GT-Plus’ regulations, rather than the ‘Class 1’ cars that had been used prior to 2021.
With more teams like Grasser Racing now joining the grid, this year's field will be made up of close to 30 drivers. In comparison, 2020, the last year of the ‘Class 1’ regulations, had just 18 drivers on the grid.
And with such a vast increase in numbers, Schubert Motorsport's Sheldon Van der Linde believes this year’s championship will require more consistency than ever before.
“There’s going to be close to 30 cars on the grid which is insane to think,” Van Der Linde explained.
“There’s going to be a lot of chaos which will be good for the fans and provide a lot of action for them. But for the drivers it’s going to be extremely tough to stay out of these fights and just finish races.
“I think the most important thing will be to consistently score in a field that’s so strong.
“Consistency is going to be key in the end as the championship is probably the strongest it’s ever been this year.”
In 2022, six manufacturers, made up of at least 15 teams, will contest the championship.
Of the drivers confirmed so far, the average age is 27, with a mix of both young and experienced racers taking to the grid.
2021 champion Maximilian Gotz said this mix of drivers will add to how competitive the DTM campaign will be.
“This year it will be harder but that’s the way we have to operate,” he said.
“I think it will be a great mix between young guns and experienced guys.
“There are many things we don’t know yet, but the first test will show the performance of all teams. But this year is going to be better and harder.”