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Project 1, Schubert to Field BMW M4 GT3s

Team Project 1, Schubert Motorsport to represent BMW in DTM this year…

Photo: GruppeC Photography

Team Project 1 will join the DTM this year with a pair of BMW M4 GT3s, in addition to Schubert Motorsport which is returning to defend the drivers’ and teams’ championships.

Both teams will operate two-car programs in the ADAC-run DTM, with Project 1 set to compete in the series for the first time.

The German squad is perhaps best known for its FIA World Endurance Championship exploits as a Porsche customer, although it also has close ties to BMW as the operator of the manufacturer’s BMW M2 Cup series.

Project 1 has also fielded BMW M4 GT4s in the DTM Trophy but is now stepping up to the GT3 ranks after winning the teams’ title last season.

Its first driver signing is two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann, who previously represented Walkenhorst Motorsport.

Reigning champion Schubert Motorsport is continuing in the series with Sheldon van der Linde who is aiming to defend his drivers’ crown.

The same team will also field a car for Rene Rast, who joined BMW from rival manufacturer Audi over the winter.

Rast will miss round two at Zandvoort due to a date clash with the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and will be replaced by Dries Vanthoor for that event.

“The [Schubert] team and drivers did an outstanding job as the ones to beat at the 2022 season finale,” said BMW M Motorsport director Andreas Roos.

“Rene Rast is a great signing for the Schubert team’s second BMW M4 GT3. Obviously it is a shame that he will miss one of the race weekends due to a clash with Formula E, but we have confidence in Rene’s class and believe that he will still be one of the main players in the championship.

“Project 1 is a very exciting new BMW M Motorsport DTM team. The journey the team’s professionalism has taken them on in recent years has impressed us all.

“We are intrigued and are really looking forward to this joint project. In our opinion, a champion like Marco Wittmann is the perfect choice as a team leader.”

Roos added that BMW is “delighted” to see the DTM taking place this year after the series underwent a change of management with the ADAC taking over from ITR.

“BMW M Motorsport and the race series have a shared history spanning many decades,” he said. “It would have been a shame if the DTM had fizzled out.

“Thankfully the agreement between [ITR chairman] Gerhard Berger and the ADAC prevented this from happening so we are pleased to have the opportunity to defend our titles with Schubert Motorsport and Sheldon van der Linde.”

Van der Linde won three races en route to his maiden DTM title this year, while Rast and Wittmann finished third and eighth in the standings respectively.

“It’s fantastic that I have the opportunity to defend the first title of my career with the Schubert team,” van der Linde said.

“Everyone says it is harder to defend a title than it is to win one for the first time. I’m excited to see how it goes.

“The new DTM will be a big challenge for everyone. Whoever can adapt to the new conditions the quickest will do well.

“I’m trusting in the abilities of my team, who will no doubt be even stronger than last year. It’s fantastic to be driving with a major champion like Rene Rast. I have no doubt that we will be able to push each other.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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