DTM season opener – Portimão
Portimão. It was finally time to start the DTM season for Walkenhorst Motorsport. The team participated with two BMW M4 GT3 – #11 with Marco Wittmann and #10 with Esteban Muth.
The debut started with two official test days on April 26th and 27th followed by the two races on April 30th and May 1st. After a long preparation the first race unfortunately didn’t go well as #11 had to retire due to loss of power. Esteban on the other hand had a very outstanding debut in which he fought up the #10 from P28 to P14. “The overtaker” was again pretty serious about his nickname and managed to shine in his first DTM race with a BMW. However, due to the #11 a long night for the crew was guaranteed, which in the end was luckily rewarded. The Sunday went very well and after some fights between the pilots on track and outstanding overtaking manoeuvres, Marco brought his #11 to P4 and Esteban the #10 to P14. The qualifying session and the race showed how close the field is and this made the fights even more interesting. It’s Walkenhorst’s second season in the DTM but the first time with two cars. The team has a big calendar in 2022 and is traveling from track to track. After Portimão they are heading to the Nurburgring for the 24h Qualifying race. The DTM season continues on May 21st and 22nd with the next two races at the Lausitzring.
Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “After a difficult start and the retirement in Saturday’s race, finishing fourth on Sunday was a nice way to round off the weekend. For a while, I did hope to mount an attack on the podium but in the end, we didn’t have the pace to reach the top three. Nonetheless, that is a result that we can build on and those are valuable points, looking at the season as a whole. At the moment, it’s all about taking steps to improving our understanding of the new BMW M4 GT3 in all conditions, and bringing it into the right window of performance during races and in qualifying. We are moving in the right direction. Now I am looking forward to the Lausitzring weekend.”
Esteban Muth (#10 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “The week in Portimão was a steep learning curve for me. Finding the right balance proved to be a serious problem for me during testing and on Saturday. Things went better during the first race, and I was able to move up 14 places. We then took a big step in the right direction for second qualifying. My pace was good from then on. We now have to build on that and we will be able to battle for points. Many thanks to the Walkenhorst Motorsport team for some fantastic support.”