DTM legend Manuel Reuter will return to the traditional series as Head of Sport and Team Manager for Lamborghini newcomer Grasser. But what tasks will the two-time Le Mans winner, who also won the ITC successor series to the DTM in 1996, take on with the Austrian team?
“Manuel is not a team manager in the classic sense, who organizes trips and hotels, but he is really responsible for the team,” explains team boss Gottfried Grasser in an interview with “Motorsport-Total.com”.
“It’s really about the sporty crew organization and pit stop coordination,” he says, referring to the fact that his team has little experience with performance pit stops. “And of course he is also an interface to the racing series in terms of the sporting regulations.”
“It’s about team structure and open communication”
How does Reuter himself define his new task? “The tasks of a team manager today can no longer be compared with the tasks of a team manager 15, 20 years ago,” he explains to ‘DTM.com’.
The 60-year-old, who has been the team manager at Rutronik in the ADAC GT Masters for the past three years and won the title in 2019, makes it clear that he himself will “take on the role of a sporting director”. “It’s about the entire team structure, about open communication within the entire team, about general values, how we treat people. It’s a comprehensive, varied task. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I want to contribute that .”
The 60-year-old describes his approach in this way as he wants to create the conditions for everyone in the team to do their best together.
“You can do a lot right, but you can also do a lot wrong”
“It’s about the culture, about values in the team, about qualified and motivated people for every task. You can do a lot right, but also a lot wrong,” Reuter clarifies. “Mentality and motivation are very important, that can make the difference in the end. Gottfried Grasser and I tick the same way on this point, we noticed that quickly.”
But his past as a racing driver could also be helpful, explains Reuter: “It’s also important how we deal with the drivers. Emotions play a big role there. Of course, I particularly benefit from my many years of experience.”
The goal is first to fight for podiums and victories “and to fight for the championship in the future,” Reuter leaves no doubt about his ambitions. “We’re going to take one step at a time.”
Team boss Grasser is relieved by Reuter
So what are his first tasks before the DTM test at Hockenheim in early April? “Where should I start?” Reuter asks. “Personnel planning, structure, infrastructure, logistics and many basics. In addition, there is the construction of the vehicles and of course the training of the performance pit stops.”
But how does Reuter’s arrival change the structure of the Grasser team and whose tasks does the ex-racing driver take on? “I did a lot of that before,” explains team manager Gottfried Grasser.
“We also had a team manager, but she wasn’t very active in the sporting field. We had a bit of a gap there – and we’ve filled it really well with Manuel,” he is convinced of his newcomer.