New kids on the block – The rising stars making their DTM debut in 2021

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Following a series of major regulation changes for the 2021 season, the new-look Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters is due to start on the 18th of June, with the drivers taking to the historic Monza track in anger for the first time since the teams left Hockenheim in November 2020.

The grid has seen a dramatic reshuffle, both with manufacturers and drivers. A number of veterans return to track for the new season, stalwarts Marco Wittmann, Timo Glock, Sheldon Van Der Linde, Lucas Auer, and Nico Müller all return to track, however reining champion Rene Rast will not, committing to Formula E for the 2021 season.

The experienced drivers will be kept honest by exterior talent coming into the series. One of the more high-profile moves is former Toro Rosso and Red Bull F1 driver Alexander Albon, who will be joined by F2 driver Liam Lawson and serial winner Nick Cassidy in the Red Bull branded AF Corsa teams. This is in addition to a two time DTM champion Gary Paffett, and a host of other talented endurance drivers.

Rounding out the 19-driver grid will be some relatively unknown faces, here is a guid to some of the new kids on the block for the DTM 2021 season.

Dev Gore

Age – 23

Hometown – Oklahoma, USA

Previous Series

  • U.S F2000 National Championship (2017)
  • Euroformula Open Championship (2018)
  • Toyota Race Series (2019)
  • Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (2019)

Gore began racing fairly late in comparison to some of his competitors, getting into karting at the age of 18, however, the Oklahoma native has had a fairly quick rise to where he is now. A graduate from the Bertil Roos racing school in America, Gore will be taking to track on behalf of Team Rosberg, a dynasty in the DTM world, winning the Drivers Championship with Rene Rast last year, and finishing second in the Constructors Championship. The second Team Rosberg car will be driven by Nico Muller, who will look to elevate Gore to the required level, however, competing in the Blancpain series in 2019 will have given him some experience in the machinery.

Dev Gore on track in the Team Rosberg R8. Photo Credit: DTM

Arjun Maini

Age – 23

Hometown – Bangalore, India

Previous Series

  • AsiaCup Series (2013)
  • JK Racing India Series (2013)
  • BDRC F4 Championship (2014)
  • FIA F3 Europe Series (2015,2016)
  • Toyota Race Series (2015)
  • GP3 (2016,2017)
  • F2 (2018,2019)
  • European/Asian Le Mans Series (2019 – 2021)

Maini boasts an impressive CV for someone as young as 23, competing since 2013, in a range of both single-seater and prototype-level cars. Having come close to a seat on the F1 grid, having tested for Haas in 2017 and 2018, Maini certainly has the skill level to operate on the grid. He becomes the first Indian driver to feature in the DTM, doing so with Mercedes AMG Gatspeed, in what is set to be the team’s highest-ranked GT3 outing to date. A lot of pressure will be put on the young Indian to make this debut year a success.

Esteban Muth

Age – 19

Hometown – Brussels, Belgium

Previous Series

  • French F4 Championship (2018)
  • Toyota Race Series (2019)
  • Formula Renault EuroCup (2019)
  • Japanese Formula 3 Championship (2019)
  • Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (2019)
  • GT4 European Series (2020)

The second youngest driver on the grid, behind Liam Lawson, Esteban Muth will be driving the only Lamborghini on the grid in 2021 during his maiden campaign. Similar to Gore, he also has experience in the GT world, racing with Strakka Racing in 2019. Muth makes the series change to DTM with T3 Motorsport, another team that has a history in the GT racing world, competing in the ADAC GT Masters and the ADAC GT4 series. Running as a singular car team, it is paramount that Muth and T3 can hit the ground running, in order to get the most out of their debut outing in the series.

Sophia Floersch

Age – 20

Previous Series

  • Ginetta Junior Championship (2015)
  • ADAC F4 Championship (2016,2017)
  • Italian F4 Championship (2017)
  • F3 European Series (2018)
  • Formula Regional Series (2019)
  • F3 (2020)
  • ELMS(2020)
  • WEC (2021)

Despite only being 20 years old, Sophia Floersch has an extensive motorsport CV, giving her the perfect starting point coming into what is set to be an extremely competitive DTM season. Racing with DTM royalty ABT Sportline, alongside Mike Rockenfeller and Kelvin Van Der Linde, is by no means an easy task, given the experience that the two drivers have. A key for success will be to use the expertise available at ABT in order to achieve the best result in the up-and-coming season.

Floersch before taking to track in pre season testing. Photo Credit: DTM

With the transition to a GT format for 2021, it will be a learning curve for many of the drivers, no matter the level of experience, and it will be interesting to see how the next generation of DTM racers can adapt.

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