Ex-F1 driver Klien to contest part campaign in DTM

Former Formula 1 driver Christian Klien has revealed that he will contest selected rounds of the 2021 DTM season in a Mercedes AMG GT3.

Ex-F1 driver Klien to contest part campaign in DTM

Klien, a veteran of 49 grand prix starts with Jaguar, Red Bull and HRT, is expected to make his DTM debut at the Lausitzring in July, before making further appearances at Zolder, Nurburgring and Assen.

He is likely to team up with JP Motorsport, the squad with which he finished second in class in the GT Open last season with victories in four out of 12 races.

The Austrian will continue racing in GT Open for a second season alongside his part campaign in the DTM, and will also be a part of Red Bull-owned ServusTV’s coverage of Formula 1 races in his home country.

"With my team JP Motorsport, I'm racing in the GT Open - and that's where the idea of doing DTM came up in the last few weeks," Klien told ServusTV.

"You can see that the series is growing now with the GT3 cars. You can already gauge a bit who is in it. We fancy being at some of the races."

Klien’s team was founded as EXP Racing at the end of 2018 before being rechristened as JP Motorsport last year to match the initials of Polish owners Joanna Szwed and Patryk Krupinsky.

Gunter Aberer initially served as JP Motorsport's team manager but left the outfit in the autumn of 2020 to head a GT4 squad in the Nurburgring-based NLS series. His post at JP Motorsport remains vacant.

Prior to joining JP Motorsport,  Aberer served as the manager of another Mercedes team HTP, which coincidentally announced its DTM entry on Monday under the Winward Racing banner.

Klien and Krupinsky nearly claimed the Pro-Am title in the GT Open last year, suffering a narrow one-point defeat to Marcelo Hahn of Teo Martin Motorsport.

Klien’s entry to the DTM marks the latest chapter in the career of the 38-year-old, who has competed in Le Mans 24 Hours, European Le Mans Series, Australian Supercars, SUPER GT and the Blancpain GT Series (now GT World Challenge Europe) and GT Open since making his final grand prix start for HRT in the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 2021 DTM season, the first to feature GT3 cars following the demise of the Class One era, will get underway at Monza on June 19-20.

Christian Klien

Christian Klien

Photo by: Toyota Racing

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