In 2023, Thierry Vermeulen will rise to the challenge and contest the DTM championship, one of the world's leading touring car championships. The 20-year-old Dutch driver, competing under the banner of Verstappen.com Racing, has signed with Swiss team Emil Frey Racing. In a brand-new Ferrari 296 GT3, Thierry will not only compete in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), but also make his appearance in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup (GTWC Sprint), bringing his racing season to thirteen weekends.
Last year, only his second year in motorsport, Thierry competed the ADAC GT Masters. In a challenging year, in which he learned a lot, Thierry took to the podium with his teammate at Circuit Zandvoort and finished the year on an upward note. After ADAC announced in December that it had taken over the organization of the DTM championship, an opportunity presented itself for Thierry to participate in this illustrious series.
Thierry is excited to take the big step to DTM and GTWC Sprint as early as 2023: “It may be an early opportunity, but I am happy to grab it with both hands. After all, it has always been my dream to drive in DTM, which I believe is the top of GT3 with the best manufacturers and where the best teams and drivers compete for the championship. Therefore, it was essential to work with a professional team, ready for this big challenge and I am very happy that we found the perfect partner with Emil Frey Racing. I am extremely excited to be driving a Ferrari 296 GT3 this year.”
Thierry's racing season begins in mid-May and he will enjoy racing in front of a home crowd at Circuit Zandvoort twice: during the DTM weekend on June 24 & 25 and during the GTWC Sprint weekend on October 14 & 15. Thierry continues: “I am incredibly excited about the combination of team, car and championships and hope to learn a lot from the experienced drivers in the competitive fields of DTM and GTWC Sprint. As for the GTWC Sprint, I'm really looking forward to working with my teammate Albert Costa. I have driven relatively few motorsport races and would like to continue to develop myself and make progress together with the team for the long term.”
“I am proud to take this step into DTM and GTWC Sprint together with Verstappen.com Racing. It is a very special feeling to represent both Red Bull and Verstappen.com. I would also like to thank my other personal sponsors immensely for their support to make my dream come true”, says Thierry. “The next few months I will focus completely on the preparations. Physically but of course also getting to know the car and the new team. I can't wait to get behind the wheel and get started with the team in this new challenge.”
Max Verstappen, who provides Thierry with support, is enthusiastic about this choice: “This promotion to the DTM is a nice and challenging next step in Thierry's GT career. After his first year in the GT3 class, in which he learned a lot, we chose to sign with Emil Frey Racing, a very professional team. They have chosen to pair Thierry in the GTWC Sprint with a strong teammate, which will provide him with a strong base to progress from. The GTWC Sprint completes Thierry's racing program and is ideal to gain more experience, which he can immediately use in the DTM where he can compete in a competitive field with top drivers. Thierry faces a challenging year, but I am confident he can continue to progress as he goes along and I wish him a lot of success and enjoyment.”