New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) India’s Arjun Maini will race for the Mercedes-AMG Performance team GetSpeed in the upcoming 2021 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) season, which will consist of 8 Rounds with 16 races across Germany/Europe.
The former Haas F1 Team Development Driver, who is currently backed by JK Racing, will drive a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the series and will become the first Indian to compete in DTM full-time.
“I am absolutely delighted to be driving for Mercedes-AMG with Getspeed in DTM. My first real experience of the championship came in 2015 when I was competing in Formula 3 and we drove on the same weekend as DTM,” said 23-year-old Maini.
“The atmosphere was something I had never experienced before. I feel privileged to finally live out one of my dreams. The series enjoys a fine reputation around the world and is the perfect opportunity for me to test myself against rapid GT3 drivers. The icing on the cake is obviously the fact that I will be racing in the championship with one of the best car brands on the planet. Mercedes-AMG needs no introduction and I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a long and successful partnership,” Maini said.
GetSpeed Performance operates from the business park at the Nurburgring and will line up in the DTM in the 2021 season. The venture into the DTM heralds a new chapter for GetSpeed.
“This is the first time we have been able to focus exclusively on one driver in the car in a performance-oriented series. This is a very pleasant situation, as we have previously always had to juggle the drivers’ different preferences in one car at endurance races. In the DTM, there is no need to make compromises. I am expecting exciting races and top-class motorsport,” said team principal Adam Osieka.
Maini started his racing career on the karting scene in 2006. He won the Indian junior championship in 2011 and took part in the ‘One from a Billion Hunt’, which was run by former Formula 1 team Force India. As the winner, he was given the opportunity to race karts in Europe.
In 2013, he switched to single-seater racing, in which he enjoyed success in the F4 British Championship. He ended the season in second place, just three points behind teammate and current Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell.
Maini’s career took him, via the Formula 3 European Championship and the GP3 Series, into the FIA Formula 2 Championship, in which he drove in 2018 and 2019. In 2019/2020, he raced in the European Le Mans Series and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the Asian Le Mans Series, the team won the LMP2-at the 4-hour race in Shanghai.
The DTM will feature GT3 cars for the first time in 2021. A race weekend comprises two free practice sessions on the Friday, followed by a qualifying and a one-hour race — including a pit stop — on both the Saturday and the Sunday. The opening round of the season takes place from 18th to 20th June 2021 in Monza, Italy. The series then visits the Norisring (July 2-4), Lausitzring (July 23 to 25), Zolder (August 6 to 8), Nurburgring (August 20 to 22), Red Bull Ring (September 3 to 5) and Assen (September 17 to 19), before the Hockenheimring hosts the grand finale from October 1 to 3.