Red Bull Junior driver Liam Lawson will make his sports car racing debut this weekend when the DTM Championship begins at Monza in Italy.
Lawson will drive the Red Bull-backed Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo in a two car AF Corse team, alongside former F1driver Alex Albon.
When the revamped DTM series was announced for GT3 cars from the start of this season, the Ferrari team was one of the first to enter. Lawson and Albon were the first drivers confirmed for the championship.
Lawson has only raced in single-seater championships since he started car racing in 2015, rising to Formula 2 this year backed by Red Bull and Rodin Cars.
The seven round DTM series will be his first championship in a sports or saloon car series, and a completely new experience for the 19-year-old.
“For me, wheel to wheel in a GT car will be the biggest learning curve for me. Getting used to having all that space on the right of me, commented Lawson.
“It’s very exciting having our first race in Italy! It is a very cool experience driving for an Italian team and I’m excited for the atmosphere this weekend.
“My first time in Monza was in FIA F3 2019. I managed my second podium of the year in a drying race. The place definitely has something special about it, especially on a Formula 1 weekend.
“My favourite memory was winning the last race of the season in EuroFormula here, in a big battle with my teammate at the time Yuki Tsunoda. It was a nice way to cap off the year.
The DTM season begins with two Free Practice sessions on Friday night NZ time, with Saturday and Sunday each having a Qualifying session and a 50-minute race.
There are 19 drivers entered for the opening round at Monza with cars representing five manufacturers, Mercedes, BMW, Lamborghini, Audi and Ferrari.
Fellow New Zealander Nick Cassidy will partner Lawson when Albon is required as the F1 reserve driver for Red Bull. Albon will however miss the French GP this weekend to be at Monza. Cassidy is racing in his regular series this weekend, Formula E in Mexico.
A special arrangement has been made for New Zealanders to watch all sessions live via the DTM website this weekend, DTM.com, while negotiations continue over coverage for the rest of the season.
Session times NZ via DTM.com:
Free Practice 1: Friday 11pm; Free Practice 2: Sunday 2.10am. Qualifying 1: Saturday 8.30pm, Race 1 Saturday 11.30pm. Qualifying 2: Sunday 8.10pm, Race 2 Sunday 11.30pm.