Joel Eriksson has been part of the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme since 2016 and is eyeing up a DTM Series debut next year.
“The [BMW] got in touch at the start of 2016. After a few meetings and a bit of planning, I joined the programme at the Norisring.”
For the past two years Eriksson has been competing in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship winning the rookie title in 2016. He built upon those strong performances last year to finish runner up to Lando Norris this year.
Wth Euro Formula 3 forming part of the DTM support card, for many the touring car series is an option they are able to now consider. Thanks to his BMW connections, Eriksson has had the opportunity to take part in DTM ‘taxi’ rides and official tests.
“The DTM is one of my goals. As such, I would like to thank BMW Motorsport for giving me this opportunity. The test was really very good and I enjoyed every second in the car. The team and I performed well together, and it was great fun working with BMW Team RBM.
“I also drove at last year’s Young Driver Test in Jerez, so being in that car was not a completely new experience for me. However, after such a good year, it is great to end the season in a DTM car.”
Being signed by BMW has offered more opportunities to Eriksson who can now approach the DTM drivers with questions and queries that he may have.
“On the one hand, you have the driving itself. But on the other you receive mental and fitness training. There are driver coaches at the circuit. The fact that Formula 3 events usually share the bill with the DTM was perfect for me. It meant that I could always approach the BMW DTM drivers and discuss the track conditions and characteristics, driving style and racing lines with them. It was very good for me to be part of that team.”
As with many young single-seater drivers Eriksson is eyeing up Formula 1 but remains realistic of his chances of reaching the pinnacle of world motorsport.
“My goals have always been Formula 1 and the DTM. At the moment, however, the DTM is above Formula 1. I really enjoy driving the DTM car, and it is very well suited to my driving style. As such, the DTM is my goal. Formula 1 was a dream as a young child, and it will always remain a dream. However, you have to be a bit realistic. It is difficult to make it into Formula 1.”
If rumours are to be believed Eriksson will make the move to DTM next year at the wheel of a BMW. The Munich outfit are set to announce their 2018 line up on 15 December at the manufacturer’s Motorsport Review Show.