Jörg Michaelis, who is responsible for the Project 1 organization of the three platforms within the DTM, looks forward to the first meeting at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben with confidence and also a healthy dose of respect.
Marco Wittmann has known Project 1 for a long time and is now actually returning to the team where he also gained his first experience via the Speed Academy from 2007 to 2009. On and off the track, says the BMW factory driver, he quickly reconnected with the team during testing and training sessions.
The 33-year-old Wittmann and the new team will obviously have to adjust to each other, but the Franconian is entering the DTM season with long-time partner Schaeffler and the ‘Green Machine’ with confidence and hopes to pick up where he left off successfully at last year’s season finale in Hockenheim.
The fact that Wittmann finished second overall with Team ROWE Racing in a BMW M4 GT3 at last weekend’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, missing out on total triumph by just 27 seconds, proves that he is in good shape.
The second BMW M4 GT3 from Project 1 will be used for the junior work of the team from Lohne. “We are planning to start with the young talent Sandro Holzem during the 2023 DTM season,” team manager Marcel Jürgens-Wichmann states the objective. “He will be prepared for his DTM debut by our experts. Intensive testing and possible guest starts in the ADAC GT Masters are on the agenda here.”
The team wants to prove “that our training pyramid from the BMW M2 Cup to the GT4 Germany, which races in the supporting program of the DTM, will take us to the highest possible level in the DTM,” says team founder Hans-Bernd Kamps, explaining the decision to give a young driver the chance to make his way to the top of German motorsport. In doing so, we were in a good exchange with the ADAC right from the start.”
Project 1’s BMW M4 GT4 will be driven this season by two BMW M2 Cup figureheads, Maxime Oosten and Michal Makeš. Both drivers are thus moving up a notch in their racing careers and a good preparation phase for the new challenge is already behind them. Dutchman Oosten has already attracted attention with a class win in the BMW M4 GT4 at the 24h Nürburgring. “The preparations went well,” emphasizes Maxime Oosten. “Above all, the teamwork is right. We get on very well when we talk about driving lines, data, set-up, etc. The BMW M4 GT4 is fast and we definitely want to be the best BMW team at Oschersleben.”
Michaelis is excited to see what the intensive preparations have brought. “We are proud of what we have already achieved in recent years with the training of dozens of drivers. Without trying to sell anyone short: The field of participants in the BMW M2 Cup has never been as diverse and competitive as it is this year. Sixteen registered drivers from twelve nations with an average age of 18 form the basis of this year’s Cup. In addition, there are possible guest drivers. But the BMW M2 Cup is not just about pure racing on the track. We train professional drivers and therefore invest a lot of time and energy in support and coaching. We’ve been working on this for months now and the journey behind us has been exhausting and challenging, but above all it’s inspiring.”
The DTM race weekend at Oschersleben begins next Friday with free practice for the GT4 at 9.00 am, for the BMW M2 Cup at 11.15 am and for the DTM GT3 at 12.15 pm.
You will find the complete schedule at project-1.de