Joel Eriksson shares drive in BMW M6 GT3 with Aidan Read Photo: ADAC GT Masters
Joel Eriksson shares drive in BMW M6 GT3 with Aidan Read Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Joel Eriksson: Dream to compete against my brother

DTM race winner set to line up for first time in ADAC GT Masters

Joel Eriksson is looking forward to his 1st season in the ADAC GT Masters with its highly competitive field and chance to go up against a special opponent.

Joel's CV certainly makes impressive reading - ADAC Formula 4 championship runner-up, second in the European Formula 3 Championship, winner of the Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort, second in the Macau Grand Prix and the last two years spent in the DTM where he clinched a victory and several other podiums. Eriksson is now about to switch to Schubert Motorsport and the ADAC GT Masters, sharing the drive in a BMW M6 GT3 with the Australian, Aidan Read. His team are delighted with their latest signing. "Joel has already been testing with us this winter in Portimão and Oschersleben. We were able to see right from the start that he's a real professional," said Marcel Schmidt, race engineer and team manager with the Oschersleben-based outfit. "He set good lap times straightaway in the M6 and gave us great feedback that enabled us to make progress." As a result, the team are approaching the start of the season with confidence: "We're aiming to impress," added Schmidt. "We are well placed and intend to fight for podiums."

Eriksson has a similar take on things: "The highly competitive field will certainly ensure that the season is challenging. My goal is always to win. We want to be among the front-runners, for sure, but of course, I also want to help the team develop the car further and move their entire programme forwards."

Eriksson laid the foundations for his career in the ADAC's open-wheel race series. After a few years in karting, he moved up to join the Formel ADAC in 2015 and then the new ADAC Formula 4 in 2016. He told us: "Those were perhaps the most important years in my career. I learned a lot there. The switch from karting was not easy, you know, but I quickly got used to the single-seater, soon showed my speed and impressed with my talent. It's where I did my growing up both as a person and as a driver. I had some exciting fights for championship titles in single-seater racing, in the ADAC Formula 4 against Marvin Dienst and then later on in Formula 3 with Lando Norris, who is currently with McLaren in Formula 1."

By now, the young driver had appeared on BMW's radar, and he became a member of their Junior programme in 2016. In 2018, BMW moved him up into the DTM where he took his maiden win at Misano in his first season. He contested the series again in 2019 and is now getting ready to race GT3 sports cars in the ADAC GT Masters. "I used to follow the ADAC GT Masters when I was competing in single-seaters," said the driver, who comes from the small southern Swedish town of Tomelilla. "It's a very strong championship with an extremely competitive field. It was one of my goals back then to compete in the series, so I am very pleased that I can now do so."

One of his opponents this season will be his brother Jimmy, who is seven years his senior. Jimmy has raced in the Super Sports Car League since 2018 and will partner record-breaking ADAC GT Masters race winner Daniel Keilwitz in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 prepared by Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing this year - so the two brothers are in quite a strange situation. Joel Eriksson: "I'm really looking forward to it. It's always been a dream of ours to compete together in the same race series. It's never happened before, as Jimmy is that bit older than me. We're really good buddies but will go at it hammer and tongs out on the racetrack. It's going to be a whole lot of fun."

Joel does not think he'll need any more time to get used to his new machine, the BMW M6 GT3. "It's very different to the racing cars I've driven so far. I contested a couple of races with the M6 in Asia and have to say that making the switch was quite tricky initially, but I feel pretty comfortable in the car now." Sharing the car with another driver in the ADAC GT Masters is also something that he is not used to. Eriksson: "Sharing is completely new to me. You see, in the past, I've always been able to set up the car to suit myself but will now have to work closely with a second driver on set-up. The approach to races is also quite different, since the driver handover must also be taken into account when working out strategy. I'm looking forward to getting to know Aidan properly. I've only had the chance to meet him briefly on test drives so far. I like him. I think we'll make a good pairing." Eriksson also thinks very highly of his outfit who have taken ten wins so far in the ADAC GT Masters and won the team competition in 2015: "Schubert Motorsport are a very professional team. Their results speak for themselves. When I found out, I was very pleased to hear that I'll be driving for Schubert Motorsport."

Like all other drivers in the Super Sports Car League, Eriksson is itching to get back behind the wheel of his racing car. However, that is impossible in the current situation. Still, he is not letting things get him down: "Of course, I do a lot of sport to keep fit. I also practise a lot in the simulator. Plus, I've got a workshop of my own where I've been almost every day for the last three or four months. I buy old cars and restore them."

2020 Season