Porsche customer teams have impressed in their debut DTM season. At the same time, it was the debut of the Porsche brand in the DTM. The 911 GT3 R, represented by SSR Performance and Team 75 Bernhard, took three victories in the legendary German racing series. Factory driver Thomas Prening recently turned heads with a strong result and impressive overtaking manoeuvres. The Austrian finished the 2022 DTM season fifth in the Drivers’ Championship. For the first time in DTM history, Dennis Olsen took pole position for Porsche.
Prening went into the final race weekend in Hockenheim with an outside chance of claiming the title. However, all hopes of a major coup were quickly dashed in the first of two races. After a difficult shunt with a competitor’s car on the sixth lap, the Austrian Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Team 75 Bernhard crashed into the track barriers. While Prening was recovering from the wreckage, his severe bruising and irreparable damage to the No. 24 Porsche ruled him out of Sunday’s race. Dennis Olsen suffered the same fate driving the No. 94 SSR Performance. Both crashes, which happened back-to-back, involved multiple cars. As a result, only Christian Engelhart was able to take part in the second race with a sister car from the Munich customer team. The German, however, was forced to retire early in the number 92 car after a collision on the first lap.
“Obviously we are disappointed that the title dreams in Hockenheim have been dashed so early. However, the health of our drivers comes first. We are very happy that all the safety features in our Porsche 911 GT3 R did their job well and that both drivers came through the bad crashes with only minor injuries,” confirms Thomas Laudenbach after Saturday’s race in Hockenheim. Looking ahead to the 2022 season as a whole, the Vice President of Porsche Motorsport adds: “Our customer teams have established the Porsche brand in the DTM in record time. We are very proud of the teams and riders. In the very first season of this fiercely competitive series, the 911 GT3 R took three wins – a remarkable result. Thank you to everyone who made these achievements possible.”
Between July and September, Thomas Preining was the winning driver in the DTM. In that time, the Austrian factory driver has taken two wins, two additional podium results and more points than any other driver. Along the way, the 24-year-old from Linz delighted fans with his spirited shots and impressive overtaking in his 911, fielded by Bernhard’s 75 Team. Dennis Olsen also took center stage during the summer months, with the Norwegian winning Spa-Francorchamps and finishing second on the podium twice. Moreover, the Belgian took the first ever pole position for a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the DTM. A personal highlight for his teammate, works driver Laurence Vantur, was fourth place at the Norrisring.
“Looking back, we have exceeded all our expectations,” said Sebastian Golz, project manager of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. “The steady upward trend in the result lists shows that we have all been consistently developing in the right direction.” The team learned a lot and put these ideas into practice. The cooperation between DTM and Porsche has been based on an open and solid basis, and this allows us to look to the 2023 season with great confidence.”
Porsche finished the DTM year in fourth place in the manufacturers’ classification. Customer teams SSR Performance and Team 75 Bernhard finished eighth and tenth in the team championship. Thomas Prening finished the year fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, with SSR drivers Olsen and Vanthur finishing tenth and 18th.
The final two races of the DTM season at Hockenheim were the last outings of the proven GT3 race car from Weissach. In the upcoming season, a new ca. The 416 kW (565 hp) Porsche 911 GT3 R makes its debut based on the 992-generation 911. The new GT3 car from Weissach successfully completed a test race on Saturday (October 8) at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, finishing third overall. Customer teams are already showing great interest in campaigning for the new model in the 2023 DTM.
More comments on the 2022 season
Thomas Prening (Porsche 911 GT3 R #24): “After the accident in Hockenheim, I look like a human avatar: completely blue. But I’m fine. The accident cannot take away from the positive impressions of the 2022 season. I got to the top of the podium in my most important race weekends: the Norrisring and my home race at the Red Bull Ring. It was really incredible. Many thanks to the team and Porsche. What a great DTM debut. It makes me very proud. I hope to get a chance to win the title in 2023.”
Timo Bernhard (owner of Team 75 Bernhard): “We have achieved great things with little resources. With Thomas, we went to the final as strong contenders for the title. Of course, it hurts that everything ended like this. However, this in no way detracts from our achievements. Two wins this season is just phenomenal. I want to thank my parents for their support, the whole team for their great work and Tommy for his great performances in the Porsche 911 GT3 R.”
Dennis Olsen (Porsche 911 GT3 R #94): “The season was a special experience. The first weekend was tough for all of us because we just weren’t competitive. We went into it with different ideas. But then we worked systematically: second place at the Norrisring and Nürburgring and our first win at Spa. It was great and showed that with hard work you can achieve great things. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well at the end of the season. It doesn’t matter: we’ll keep the highlights in mind and want to build on them in 2023.”
Stefan Schlund (Owner of SSR Performance): “The first two events of the year were very difficult. It was not only our fault, but also the way the Porsche 911 GT3 R was classified. We then made significant progress in all areas and received a well-deserved award for it. The podium results and victory in Belgium were outstanding, as was Dennis Olsen’s first pole position for Porsche in the DTM. Although Dennis performed well throughout the year, we barely managed to use the full potential of the sister car. It was very bad. All in all, we take some positive memories with us from the 2022 season.”
The source. Porsche