A ground-breaking event took place earlier today in Tokyo, which provides a stable future, cost reductions and increased competition in both the DTM and Japanese Super GT. This will be a reality come 2014, as a co-operation deal has been signed between ITR e.V., the DTM rights holder and promoter, and the GT Association (GTA).
Super GT will use the “New DTM” regulations for four years, which will help the three premium German car brands, not to mention all the Japanese car manufacturers, to compete on a level playing field in both racing series. This will help to ensure more interest around the world, and could possibly see drivers from either series having a chance to compete in a category of their choice.
Hans Werner Aufrecht, ITR e.V.’s Chairman, said that is was a special day, but it was made reality by both parties getting involved at the right time, but said that the signing of the agreement paved the way for the future: “‘This cooperation of GTA and ITR, based on the new technical regulations, is a dream come true. We believe that this milestone in motor-racing history, will not only help to reduce the costs dramatically but at the same time, it also should help improving safety and creating spectacular racing with equal chances for the manufacturers and teams, thus entertaining the millions of fans all over the world.’’
Audi Motorsport Director, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, who was representing the DTM manufacturers, stated that both categories had many common ideas, which has evolved through intense discussion over most recent times. And in general, he felt it was a good move for the future: “Now, these organisations are going to cooperate on the basis of shared technical regulations. A move that will guarantee maximum safety, spectacular sport and cost-efficient motor racing.’’
The DMSB Secretary General, Christian Schacht, said the DTM is paving the way forward in racing trends, and said that a lot of priorities that were discussed with the Japanese Motor Sport Federation, including “the fascinating cars, the high safety standards and the cost efficiency, too.”
‘‘We believe that this agreement will contribute greatly to the development of both the SUPER GT and DTM race series,” stated GTA Chairman, Massaki Bandoh, who hoped for a great future for both series, ”We also think that deepening the relationship between DTM in Europe and SUPER GT in Asia toward the future may lead to new developments — such as organizing exchange races for both series — that have got what it takes to bring new excitement and pleasure to the fans around the world.”
The beginning of this promising partnership also shows the growing collaboration between BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan and Honda for the future, not to mention the series organisors and the JAF and DMSB, with future meetings for technical working groups to go on aplomb, with information to be shared by all. Not to forget that a BOP, or “Balance of Performance” regulation, will be enforced as a transitional phase, as the cars that are racing in both categories, are currently using very different engine concepts.
So expect the grids to expand in both series for 2014, and a whole host of both old and new faces taking part in what will pave the way forward, as it looks like more great and close racing will be on the cards on a great variety of tracks, when the DTM will be, in some way, “turning Japanese.” The New-Era of the DTM just got that little bit more exciting.