Maximillian Götz says his return to GT racing after two years in DTM will be like “coming home”.
Götz was recently confirmed for a full-season assault on the ADAC GT Masters championship alongside Patrick Assenheimer in one of two HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3s, marking a return to the GT arena in which he enjoyed his greatest successes.
The 31-year-old endured a difficult spell in the DTM, managing a best result of fourth at Moscow Raceway last year.
Along with Christian Vietoris, Daniel Juncadella and Felix Rosenqvist, he was not retained as Mercedes downsized from eight cars to six, with Maro Engel and former Audi driver Edoardo Mortara added to the roster in their place.
The 2012 GT Masters and 2014 Blancpain Sprint champion is expected to be announced in one of the four HTP cars entered in this year’s Blancpain GT Series, with another assault on the Nürburgring 24 also likely after finishing third for Haribo last year.
— Maximilian Götz (@Max_Goetz) February 21, 2017
“I did two years of DTM and for me it was clear that when I’m not a part of DTM anymore I will come back to GT Masters,” he told Racing.GT.
“I know all the drivers, the teams, the people from the ADAC, all the tracks, so it’s really like coming home.
“I like the series quite a lot, I was a champion once in 2012 and two times close to being champion in 2013 and 2014. That was the reason I wanted to come back – I want to win this championship again.
“For me as a German driver, it’s very important to be in a German championship. GT Masters has been growing for some years already and there are 40 cars on the grid, it’s not the worst series in Europe!
“Also I’m looking forward to working with HTP again. I was champion with another team, MS Racing, but then in ’13 and ’14 we won everything, the 24 Hours of Spa, 1000km race at Nürburgring and the overall title in the Sprint Cup. It was a really good time together with Max Buhk, so I’m happy to come back to the team that I have good memories with and really big success in the past.”
While his time in DTM didn’t yield the desired results, Götz believes that the experience made him a more complete driver and is looking forward to getting reacquainted with the Mercedes-AMG GT3, after narrowly missing a podium on his last outing at Spa.
“You have to take all the little opportunities to analyse every little detail and be even more professional than before, that’s what I learned in DTM,” he said. “For example in qualifying you have to use the tyres really well to get all the performance out of it, so for sure I will transfer all this knowledge now to GT racing.
“I came back last year with the GT at the Nürburgring and also Spa. I did a good job I think at the Nürburgring and at Spa I was on pole position before we got the penalties, so I showed already that I am still quick in GTs.
“I like this car a lot and now after not having a very good time in the DTM, a hard time, I will show that I am still fast and I am able to win races and championships.”
Together with team-mate Assenheimer, who managed a best result of second at the Lausitzring last year in the new Callaway Corvette C7.R, Götz is optimistic of a strong title challenge when the season gets underway at Oschersleben in April.
“[Assenheimer] entered motorsport quite late, but from this point on he did a lot of racing and he improved a lot in the last years,” Götz added.
“I think we have good chances, we will have a lot of test days to prepare for the season so it looks we are in a good shape and then first qualifying in the first weekend, we will see where we are.”