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Porsche GT3 star Vanthoor set for DTM debut in 2022

Factory Porsche driver Laurens Vanthoor is being tipped to join the DTM this year as part of SSR Performance’s two-car entry into the category.

#9 PFAFF Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R, GTD: Zacharie Robichon, Laurens Vanthoor, Lars Kern, champagne

According to Motorsport.com’s sister title Motorsport-Total.com, Vanthoor will team up with Dennis Olsen for what would be SSR’s first full season in the DTM following a successful wildcard appearance at the Nurburgring last year.

The deal will make Vanthoor arguably the highest profile GT racer on the 2022 DTM grid, with the Belgian boasting a CV that includes overall victories at major GT3 enduros including Spa 24 Hours and Nurburgring 24 Hours, and class titles in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours.

It would mean Vanthoor will finally make his DTM debut 11 years after he first tested an Audi A4 at Hockenheim, a reward for his strong run of results in the 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series.

Although the test opportunity didn’t result in a race drive as Audi had already locked in its drivers for the next season, Vanthoor went on to establish himself as a successful GT3 racer with the Ingolstadt-based brand in the coming years.

This included titles in the FIA GT Championship and the Blancpain GT Series, as well as race wins at Spa and Nurburgring - all with the WRT team.

He switched to sister Volkswagen Group brand Porsche in 2017, scoring a GTE Pro win at Le Mans two years later with Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre. On the other side of the Atlantic, he clinched the equivalent GTLM title in IMSA in 2019 before repeating that feat in the GTD division with Pfaff Motorsport last year.

He was also part of Rowe Racing's winning crew at Spa in 2020, scoring his second victory in the Belgian enduro.

SSR Performance Porsche GT3 R

SSR Performance Porsche GT3 R

Photo by: Siegerdesigns

More recently, Vanthoor earned plaudits for a thrilling duel with fellow Porsche driver Mathieu Jaminet in the Rolex 24 at Daytona that went down to the wire, resulting in Vanthoor narrowly missing out on a GTD Pro win.

Olsen, who was also part of the KCMG crew alongside Patrick Pilet and Imperatori that eventually finished third in the IMSA opener, will again team up with Vanthoor as they both make their DTM debuts.

Although not officially a factory driver, Olsen has long been associated with Porsche since his Carrera Cup Germany triumph in 2017 - and was the sole winner of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge title. The same year he represented Porsche at Le Mans as part of the Stuttgart-based marque’s four car assault in the WEC blue riband event.

Alongside Vanthoor and Olsen, Porsche’s roster of DTM drivers will be completed by Team 75 signing Thomas Preining, who was announced by Timo Bernhard’s team for its one-car effort in December.

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