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Engel returns to DTM as Mercedes unveils seven-car line-up for 2022

Mercedes will be represented by seven cars in the 2022 DTM, but its driver line-up has received a shake-up as Maro Engel returns to the series and Daniel Juncadella departs.

#22 Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo: Maro Engel

#22 Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo: Maro Engel

Alexander Trienitz

Engel has been a stalwart of Mercedes' GT3 programme over the past decade, winning the Nurburgring 24 Hours in 2016 and taking the 2018 Blancpain Endurance Series title, but also has previous experience in the DTM during its spell as a tin-top championship.

The German, who also finished runner-up in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup in 2019 and 2021, joined Mercedes for 2008 straight out of British Formula 3 and completed four seasons in the DTM before returning in 2017 and scoring his maiden win from 17th on the grid at Moscow Raceway.

Engel will replace Juncadella, who leaves the DTM just one year into his own series comeback, at the expanded GruppeM squad which also welcomes series newcomer Mikael Grenier.

The Canadian racer recently secured the Pro-Am title in the Intercontinental GT Challenge finale at Kyalami with SunEnergy1 and previously finished second in the GTD Pro class with the same squad at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours.

Juncadella, who broke his DTM duck at Brands Hatch in 2018, is instead expected to compete in GT World Challenge Europe and reprise his seat at the AKKA ASP team with which he contested selected rounds last season.

Reigning champion Maximilian Gotz will leave Haupt Racing Team (HRT) to join Winward, where he will be partnered by seven-time DTM race winner Lucas Auer.

Gotz will carry #1 on his Mercedes-AMG GT3 this year, ditching the #4 number plate with which he clinched the 2021 title in controversial circumstances.

PLUS: How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

“I have achieved great success with the team that emerged from HTP Motorsport,” said Gotz. “Now returning to WINWARD Racing with starting number 1 is an emotional affair and a real privilege for me.

“Securing the DTM title was unbelievably difficult, but without any doubt, successfully defending it will be even more difficult. With Lucas Auer, I have an extremely strong team-mate, we will be pushing each other.”

Maximilian Götz will defend his title with the Winward team

Maximilian Götz will defend his title with the Winward team

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

HRT, in turn, will field an all-new line-up comprising Luca Stolz and Arjun Maini, following the departure of Gotz’s 2021 team-mate Vincent Abril from Mercedes’ stable to join the JP Motorsport McLaren team in GTWCE.

Stolz, Engel's regular partner in GTWCE and ADAC GT Masters in recent years, impressed during a wildcard appearance at the Nurburgring with Toksport last year, while Maini moves over from the GetSpeed squad that has stepped down from its involvement in the DTM in 2022.

Elsewhere, Maximilian Buhk will remain with Mucke Motorsport in what is expected to be the only car on the grid to be featuring Schaeffler-Paravan’s steer-by-wire system.

Buhk initially stood in for Mucke’s original signing Gary Paffett in 2021 but went on to complete the full season due to a combination of travel restrictions affecting the British driver and his existing role with Mercedes’ Formula E team.

“Mercedes-AMG has been a permanent feature in DTM almost without exception since the very beginning and we are delighted that they want to continue to write this story in 2022 as well,” said Benedikt Bohme, managing director of ITR.

“Their achievements speak for themselves, but it is certain: in the new season, they will be the hunted both in the drivers’ and the manufacturers’ standings.”

It is expected that Mercedes will again have the biggest presence of any manufacturer in the DTM this year.

Mercedes' driver line-up in 2022

HRT: Luca Stolz, Arjun Maini
GruppeM: Maro Engel, Mikael Grenier
Winward: Lucas Auer, Maximilian Gotz
Mucke: Maximilian Buhk

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