EN: A dream come true: professional contract with a German team
Sami-Matti Trogen has signed a two-year long professional contract with the German Walkenhorst Motorsport team. The agreement is exceptional when taking into account the young age of Trogen. The first race as part of the team will be with a GT4 car at the ADAC TOTAL 24h race at the Nürburgring on 24-27 September. Also moving to Germany will be ahead still this year.
Despite exceptional times thanks to Covid-19, the motorsport career of young race driver Sami-Matti Trogen took a real leap forward this year. Everything started after the GT3 tests held in France this Spring. Things happened quickly and now there's a official contract between Trogen and Walkenhorst Motorsport until the end of 2022.
The situation has required bold decisions. Trogen will move his home address to Germany later this year, and at the same time, the studies at Mäkelänrinne Sports High School will be interrupted for the time being. New project together with the new team requires full focus.
“This is a dream come true for me. The contract means a huge change in my life. From now on, I will be working regularly on motorsports with top professionals at Walkenhorst. I have reached something of which I have dreamed for many years, and now it suddenly happens – before I expected", Trogen says gratefully.
Walkenhorst Motorsport team is happy to get the Finn as part of their driver line-up.
"We are very delighted to welcome Sami Matti Trogen in our 24h BMW M4 GT4 line-up and team. Sami has proven his skills at such big races many times in the esports scene and now it is time to move on in real racing. After having Sami in one of our real racing cars, we directly could see his performance, skill level, and passion which suits perfectly to our team. As a fully integrated Walkenhorst team member, we can´t wait to work together with him creating a path to the GT3 class.We are proud to have such a strong and talented driver with us, and I am sure we can deliver strong results”, describes Niclas Königbauer, Head of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team.
The first race at the end of September on the legendary Nürburgring – BMW M4 GT4 racing car fits Trogen well
The first race as the official race driver of Walkenhorst Motorsport team will be at the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race on 24-27 September. The race will be run on the challenging 25-kilometer long Nürburgring track in Germany, where several endurance races have been taking place since the 1970s. Trogen is already familiar with the track, with an experience of three races this summer with a BMW M2 car.
Trogen's race car is a 431-horsepower BMW M4 GT4, with which he made his first contact at the tests one month ago. The car is very competitive and has shown its durability and reliability in recent years, including the Dubai 24h race in the desert. The car has also achieved class victories recently.
“It’s great to be able to drive a 24-hour race still this year. It is really important for the future. The only downside is that I have to compete in an esports race on the same weekend; the iRacing Rallycross World Championship starts at the same time, but I think I can handle both of the challenges”, states Trogen, who is the reigning iRacing World RX Champion.
The background support played a remarkable role, but esports made the big wheel spin
Thanks to one of the supporters of Trogen, Jussi Sutinen, the GT3 tests in France at the beginning of the year was made possible. As we well know at this point, after the tests there were more to bring home than one could have expected – the young Finn had made an indelible impression.
Not only the convincing “real life” test performance demonstrated in France, but also the results given on the esports field further convinced Walkenhorst Motorsport.
As the official driver for the Williams Esports team, Trogen has driven the German digital Nürburgring series this year, featuring the same people and drivers as in real life. Best of all, Trogen started the series successfully, achieving a race win on the first race weekend. The word soon began to spread: "there is a flying Finn that drives fast, be it a digital or a real car".
Communication with the team was kept active throughout the Summer, the necessary German racing licenses were completed, and finally, everything was ready to sign the contract.
The initial spark for the simracing was given by rallycross legend Matti Alamäki.
“A few years ago, I tested Matti Alamäki's simulator and that's from where everything started. Now I'm a professional simrace driver, through which I have made a great professional network which has helped me to get all the way here", explains Trogen.
The Williams Esports contract renewed for the next two years
In addition to the Walkenhorst contract, Trogen has recently renewed his contract with the Williams Esports team.
The contract with the esports department of the well-known Williams F1 team was coming to an end at the end of this year, but as the autumn progressed, all the parties were willing to continue the cooperation and voéla, the contract was signed for another two years.
Esports will therefore remain involved in the driving program – and no wonder as it has been one of the key factors in Trogen’s current, fast-moving career path.
"It will be a busy year, but I'm ready for it. I like both the simulator and real life driving. They support each other, so will definitely continue doing them both”, Trogen ends.
The 2021: 11 races with the BMW M6 GT3
In 2021, there will be in a total of 11 races in the calendar of Trogen as part of the Nürburgring Langstrecken (NLS) series. The GT4 car used this year will be leveled up with BMW M6 GT3. This turbocharged V8 M TwinPower engine pushing a whopping 585 horsepower. In addition, in the autumn there may also be a 24h competition.
Dozens of esport races will also be matched in the calendar, meaning it's going to be a busy year.
Picture: Walkenhorst Motorsport, Swoosh Communications