Sophia Floersch moves to DTM for 2021
German racing star Sophia Floersch will combine her WEC program with DTM, as she makes her debut in the popular series at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 by ABT Motorsport.
It was in the air and it is now finally official: 20-year old Sophia Floersch will make her debut in DTM, as she joins ABT Motorsport at the wheel of a Audi R8 LMS for the upcoming season.
Floersch made a successful debut in sports cars in 2020, when she completed a double program in both the FIA Formula 3 championship and in the European Le Mans Series with the new all-female team Richard Mille Racing, that ultimately brought the young German star to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. She finished her rookie edition of the most legendary 24-hour race in ninth class position, sharing the Oreca 07 LMP2 car with Tatiana Calderon and Beitske Visser.
With Richard Mille Racing announcing a switch to World Endurance Championship in 2021, Floersch will thus be again busy on a double-program: at the highest level of endurance racing in WEC and in the popular DTM championship.
Floersch has been a fan of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters for a long time: "I love DTM, it's super cool, the cars are crazy cool and also the level of the drivers is really high, so it's for sure something that interests me and to follow as well." – she had told us in a 2019 interview.
Now a brand ambassador for Schaeffler, the partnership with Audi and ABT Motorsport was the next natural step.
"It's finally official, I'll be racing in DTM this year with ABT Motorsport", said Floersch in a social media announcement. "It's a really big opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to that season. Big thanks to Schaeffler and hope to see you on track!"
Sophia – who has been a familiar face in the DTM paddock in the last couple of seasons – had the opportunity to drive the Schaeffler demo car that will be the base concept for the 2022 Electric DTM.
With the series now switching to GT3 machinery for the first time after the termination of Mercedes and Audi's factory programs, the new format of the popular series has seen a steep increase in interest from teams under its GT Plus formula, as part of a cost efficiency strategy.
ABT Sportsline has so far announced a three-car entry, with Mike Rockenfeller and Kelvin van der Linde racing alongside Sophia Floersch.
She will be the first female racer in the DTM since 2012 – when Susie Wolff and Rahel Frey competed for Mercedes and Audi respectively.
Now, for the first time, ABT Motorsport will also provide its driver with a female race engineer and a female team manager: Laura Müller and Maike Frik.
“We are very much looking forward to this joint adventure also in the DTM, working with Sophia and the cooperation with Schaeffler,” said managing partner Hans-Jürgen Abt. “We now have a DTM veteran, a rookie and a lady in the team, that’s really something motorsport fans can already look forward to.”
Ellen Lohr has been the only female DTM race winner to date, as she clinched the top spot of the podium in Hockenheim 1992. From that same track, Sophia Floersch will now start her adventure in the series in the upcoming pre-season tests, as she aims to top her colleague's achievement.
The 2021 DTM championship starts from the Temple of Speed in Monza, Italy on 19/20 June. After a 8-event calendar that will take the drivers to some of the most popular European racetracks, the traditional season finale will be at Hockenheim.
2021 DTM calendar:
Monza, Italy - 19/20 June
Norisring, Germany - 3/4 July
Lausitzring, Germany - 24/25 July
Zolder, Belgium - 7/8 August
Nürburgring, Germany - 21/22 August
Red Bull Ring, Austria - 4/5 September
Assen, Netherlands - 18/19 September
Hockenheim, Germany - 2/3 October