Imola is uncharted territory for the young talents from the DTM Trophy. Most drivers in the 20-strong feld of the talent pool on the DTM platform only know the 4.909 kilometres long track with renowned sections like Tamburello, Tosa, Acque Minerali or Rivazza from the Formula 1 races seen on TV and from the simulator. In preparation for the second DTM Trophy race weekend from 17 till 19 June, use of a simulator is “elementary significant,” as Tim Heinemann underlines.
The 2020 DTM Trophy champion is heading to Italy as the points’ leader, having scored two pole positions and two race wins with the Toyota Supra from the Ring-Racing team in the season opener at Lausitzring Turn 1 powered by Autohero four weeks ago.
“I didn’t expect things to be going so well. Of course, I hope that some more victories will follow. After all, I want to become champion again. But that will be difficult because now we are the hunted,” the 24-year-old German says. At least Heinemann, who has now made it into the series’ statistics with the third different brand after Mercedes-AMG in 2020 (seven wins) and Aston Martin Vantage in 2021 (two pole positions), already knows the Grand Prix track.
“I already was in Imola, albeit just with a road car. It is an old-school track with gravel beds that punish you straight away. The track will surely provide great race action,” he is convinced. Heinemann, who stepped up from sim racing to real-world motorsport, is using his RaceRoom simulator “not only to learn the racing line, but also to try different driving situations.”
For Theo Oeverhaus, it is similar. “I am also using the simulator to prepare for Imola, to learn the new track.” The BMW driver from the Walkenhorst Motorsport team was the “king of overtaking” at Lausitzring. In the first race, Oeverhaus started from 15th place and finished sixth while the youngster advanced from eleventh on the grid to finish second in the second race, adding up to a total of 20 positions across the two days that Oeverhaus made up. “Theo has to improve in qualifying,” Jörg Müller has found out. The ex-Formula 1 test driver and BMW works driver of many years is Oeverhaus’s car engineer and also the team manager of the Walkenhorst Trophy crew.
The two DTM Trophy races will get underway on Saturday and Sunday at 3.15pm CEST after the DTM races. All practice sessions and the races can be watched live at DTM Grid (grid.dtm.com). In the ServusTV television programme, the two Imola races will be aired on Saturday at 7.15pm CEST and on Sunday at 11.50pm CEST.