After reaching the podium in last year’s wildcard tour Motorsport T3Bartolotti has joined the DTM for the entire 2022 season with the Grasser Racing team, which has given up all other championships to focus entirely on the German series.

Leading a four-car line-up that also included Rolf Ineichen, Alessio Deleddo and Clemens SchmidBartolotti scored five podiums and one pole position during the season, replicating the pace he has shown in other GT3 championships over the years.

The Italian was also in the thick of the championship fight until the final weekend of the season, finishing fourth in the championship standings Sheldon van der Linde (BMW), Lucas Auer (Mercedes) and Rene Rust (Audi).

Admitting that he lost important points for a variety of reasons, including some unforced errors, Bartolotti said he was very pleased with the way he and Grasser performed in 2022 with the support of Lamborghini.

“I’m really proud of the work we’ve done,” the 32-year-old driver told “We must not forget that we are a small brand that is fighting with big ones, especially German ones. This is something that is sometimes forgotten. I think that’s definitely something we should take as a positive.

“All of us had ups and downs, all of us in the field. And it was quite clear to me that it would be the same with the quality of the field and with the number of potential contenders in the championship.

“Overall a really positive season. I definitely think there is always room for improvement, especially in the last two rounds.

“At the Red Bull Ring, if we had made a really good pit stop, we would have definitely been in contention for the win. On Saturday [at Hockenheim] the same with the strategy that didn’t work for us. So, a little unlucky.

“It’s part of the game and we can’t say anything else. The team did a great job, Lamborghini too, and I’m very happy with myself and that’s it.

“At the end of the day, we are P4. We could fight for a bit more, especially on Sunday. I was going to the pole circle, but there was a red flag.”

Podium: Mirko Bartolotti, Grasser Racing Team

Photo: Alexander Traynits

Bartolotti has been super consistent through the first four rounds of the season, establishing a nine-point lead in the standings over eventual champion van der Linde after the Norrisring event in July.

However, his championship challenge was derailed by a string of poor results when the season resumed after the summer break, including a clash with Red Bull Felipe Frago during his pursuit of victory at the Nürburgring.

The red flag, while he was on a fast lap in Hockenheim qualifying, was the final nail in the coffin, ending his hopes of making Lamborghini the first non-German manufacturer to win the DTM title since 1993.

But Bartolotti believes it would be unfair to compare his recent results to those achieved earlier in the year and insists there has been no dip in the team’s performance in the second half of the year, despite what the scorecard might suggest .

Asked if he was disappointed with the championship result given how strong he had been in the first half of the campaign, the factory Lamborghini driver said: “No, we continued to perform exactly the same, even better than in the first half – but we just didn’t put the second half together, that’s the difference. It’s not about execution.

“The Nürburgring was a bad weekend, we don’t need to talk about that. Spa had a very bad weekend and for other reasons as well.

“The way we went in the second half, we shouldn’t forget how we got there. So there were outstanding results in the first half of the season and that’s why we were in this position [to fight for the title].

“So it’s easy to only see the negatives, but at the end of the day I always say you can only judge a full season, not just a half-season.”

The absolute champion in the Blancpain GT series and two-time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Bartolotti said he enjoyed his first season in the DTM, but it was up to Lamborghini whether he would return to the championship for the next assault. for the title in 2023.

His development duties for the 2024 Lamborghini LMDh project will not affect his racing program next year, and the Italian is expected to race all season in a wide variety of championships and enduros.

“Of course we all know the importance of the championship,” he said. “It was great here, great to be here with Lamborghini and represent our brand in this championship.

“There are things that I liked and there are other things that I liked a little bit less, but overall I would say that being here has been very positive and I enjoy it.

“This is not my decision [to continue in DTM or not]. I drive everything Lamborghini wants me to drive. I think there are a lot of really good championships, I really like them all.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to them what’s most strategic for the brand they put me in.”

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