Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Ex-MotoGP star Dovizioso completes DTM test in BMW GT3 car

Former MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso tested a BMW M4 GT3 for Project 1 last week to evaluate whether he is ready to race in the DTM this year.

Andrea Dovizioso, Project 1, BMW M4 GT3, Hockenheim testing

Photo by: Susanne Rossbach

Dovizioso got his first taste of GT3 machinery at Hockenheim on 28-29 March, sharing an M4 GT3 with two-time DTM champion and factory BMW driver Marco Wittmann.

Wittmann has already been signed by Project 1 to lead its assault on the DTM and the team has been looking for a second driver to complete its line-up for the 2023 season.

Dovizioso, who impressed during a guest outing in an Audi Class 1 car back in 2019, was seen as a contender for the seat after being included in the two-day test at Hockenheim. However, a race berth now looks unlikely, given the scale of the challenge ahead for the Italian.

Autosport's sister site Motorsport-Total.com was able to find individual lap times for both Dovizioso and Wittmann, who provided a benchmark for the 37-year-old thanks to his extensive experience in the DTM with BMW.

While Wittmann was able to achieve a best time of 1m37.712s in the car that won last year’s title in the hands of Schubert’s Sheldon van der Linde, Dovizioso could improve no further than 1m41.812s in his final stint.

That put the Italian 4.1s off Wittmann’s best time, even though he had made a marked improvement from a 1m43.642s in his first stint.

The difference in lap times points to Dovizioso facing a steep learning curve in GT3 machinery, where he is a complete rookie, in order to be ready to race competitively in the DTM.

While GT3 cars do come with ABS and traction control, making them suitable for amateurs, some find adjusting to driving aids a particularly difficult exercise.

It could be one reason why Dovizioso had a relatively easy time in the more aerodynamically-efficient Class 1 car at Misano in 2019, where he ended up 1.319s off polesitter Rene Rast. However, it must be noted that he completed an initial run at Audi Sport’s Neuburg facility and two days of testing at Misano to prepare for that debut outing. 

PLUS: The inside story of Dovizioso's DTM debut

Andrea Dovizioso, Project 1, BMW M4 GT3, Hockenheim testing

Andrea Dovizioso, Project 1, BMW M4 GT3, Hockenheim testing

Photo by: Susanne Rossbach

Project 1’s second driver

Project 1 is now facing a race against time to lock in a second driver for 2023, with pre-season testing due to get under way at Spielberg on 15-16 April. DTM’s new owner, the ADAC, has been putting pressure on both the team and BMW to have its drivers signed in time for the test.

Dev Gore, who drove for Team Rosberg in 2021-22, is one candidate for the drive. Although Gore had a tough rookie season, he showed signs of improvement last year and finished on the podium at Imola with the help of an impressive strategy.

Wittmann’s 2022 team-mate at Walkenhorst, Esteban Muth, is also a contender for the drive. Muth’s campaign was cut short last year due to an injury, but he is fit to race again this year and is already serving as a test and reserve driver for the Vanwall LMH team in the World Endurance Championship. However, there are question marks over whether the Belgian will be able to bring enough money with him to secure the seat.

Ex-BMW driver Timo Glock used to have Project 1 team boss Hans-Bernd Kamps as his manager. But while Glock admitted in March that he was “talking” with Project 1 about its vacant DTM seat, he conceded that it is “rather difficult to get a budget together at the moment.”

Read Also:

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Aron in race return as part of 18-driver Mercedes factory GT3 roster
Next article Mercedes leads the way in official DTM test in Austria

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe