Frenchman Franck Perera will be racing the Lamborghini Huracán of the Grasser Racing Team (GRT) during DTM Norisring powered by BMW M. In the Lamborghini with starting number 19, the 38-year-old is replacing the ill Swiss Rolf Ineichen. Like teammate Mirko Bortolotti (ITA), who will be coming to race at the Nuremberg street circuit this weekend (1 till 3 July) in second place of the standings, Perera is a works driver for Lamborghini Squadra Corse. For Perera, DTM may be uncharted territory, but he already knows Norisring from his days in the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2004 and 2005.
“I am delighted to be racing in DTM for the first time in my career. I will do my best to be a worthy replacement for Rolf in the number 19 car,” Franck Perera comments his spontaneous commitment. “Moreover, it is nice to be working with GRT again and to be back at Norisring. I have very good memories of this great venue from my time in Formula 3 and I can hardly await to be racing there again after such a long time.” Perera, a former Formula 1 test driver with Toyota, was on the podium twice after a pair of third-place finishes in four Formula 3 races at Norisring, both times with Lewis Hamilton as the winner. With GRT, Perera had numerous achievements from 2019 till 2021 including victory in the GTD class in the Daytona 24 Hours, among others together with Bortolotti and Ineichen.
GRT team principal first thinks about Rolf Ineichen. “Surprisingly, Rolf fell ill at the beginning of the week and I wish him a speedy recovery on behalf of the entire Grasser Racing Team.” As to Franck Perera, the Austrian adds: “We are relieved that Franck is able to step in at such a short notice. With him, we have worked together very well in the past years. Especially at Norisring, we are lucky to have him as a replacement. We are the first time at this track and therefore it is important to rely on a driver who knows the team in this unexpected situation.” The Austrian is running a total of four Lamborghinis in DTM: two for Bortolotti and Perera and two for Clemens Schmid (AUT) and Alessio Deledda (ITA).
“We also wish Rolf Ineichen a speedy recovery,” says Frederic Elsner, director event & operations of the DTM organisation ITR. “In Franck Perera, a very experienced Lamborghini works driver is making his last-minute debut in DTM. It will be exciting to see how he fares as a DTM newcomer in this immensely strong field. The good thing is that he already knows Norisring.”
In the Franconian metropolis, DTM Norisring powered by BMW M marks the seventh and eighth race of the DTM season. A total of twelve races, also including DTM Trophy and DTM Classic next to DTM, ensure a veritable motorsport festival at the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit.