16th June 2021, Italy: Mercedes-AMG driver Arjun Maini is confident of a good season ahead of the opening round of the revamped 2021 DTM series, scheduled to take place at the Monza race circuit in Italy between June 18-20. When quizzed at a press conference about the probable contenders for the championship, the 23-year-old Indian driver backed himself to be the surprise performance of the season.
The Bangalore-based racer, who is supported by JK Racing, has recorded a series of firsts for Indians racing abroad, and with his foray into DTM is set to become the first Indian to compete fulltime in the series. His debut DTM season with Mercedes-AMG backed GetSpeed racing team will mark a new challenge in Maini’s career after his previous expeditions in the FIA Formula 2 championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 category.
Speaking about his upcoming debut Maini commented, “I’m delighted to be back racing full-time after the lockdowns affected my 2020 season. I have been wanting to race in DTM since 2015, when I was still in Formula 3, so it feels a bit surreal to finally be able to make my debut. Competing in the series certainly won’t be easy but it’s the challenge that makes this experience so exciting for me.”
Talking about the season opener, Maini, highlighted the importance of tire management at Monza. “I personally love Monza as a circuit, and I think it’s always great for racing. However, the higher temperatures this weekend will result in tire degradation. So, it won’t be a flat-out sprint race, as tire management will be more important.”
Maini also extended thanks to his partners for their support, “As always I’d like to thank my partners for helping me tick another milestone off my bucket list. I wouldn’t have gotten here without the help of my longtime supporter J.K.Tyre who have been with me since my Formula 4 days. I would also like to welcome my latest partner Mumbai Falcons who I’m honored to say have supported my vision of becoming the first Indian to stand on a DTM podium.”
“Finally, I’d like to thank Mercedes-AMG and GetSpeed for giving me the opportunity to race one of these beasts. The Mercedes AMG GT3 race car is enthralling to drive, and I can’t wait to see what happens once the lights turn green on race day.”
DTM is Germany’s premier racing series, with pre-covid track attendance figures topping over 60 thousand on race day. An added dynamic to look out for this year is the championship’s technical overhaul, which now sees the introduction of the powerful and exciting GT3 class of racing cars.
This means that while the series will continue featuring the German triumvirate of Mercedes, BMW, and Audi, this year’s championship will now also welcome Italian stallions Ferrari and Lamborghini along with British stalwarts McLaren.
The 2021 DTM series will be broadcasted live in India at Autocar India’s YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/autocarindia1
Race Schedule – Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, June 19-20.