Earlier this week, all those that are involved in the DTM will be able to add a few frequent flier miles to their reward cards as 10 races will still comprise the 2014 calendar, but with two major amendments for next year.
Both the rounds at Brands Hatch and Circuit Park Zandvoort have been dropped in favour of a return to the Hungaroring for the first time since 1988, as well as the Far East, with a round in China to take place on a yet-to-be unannounced location.
Having suffered attendance losses over the past couple of years or so, Brands Hatch’s attendance figures was lower than last season, but Zandvoort was still pulling in the crowds for the title decider just under three weeks ago, when Mike Rockenfeller took his first DTM title after a six-year spell. MSV’s Chief Executive, Johnathan Palmer said that the Kent-based venue had enjoyed hosting the DTM over the past eight seasons, but knew that this would eventually happen: “We have agreed with ITR that it’s time for the event to move on. We wish everyone at ITR well and hope the DTM continues to be a success.”
These two tracks that have historic prominence throughout the world will be a loss for those that love motorsport history, so you can somewhat understand that the ITR and its chairman, Hans Werner Aufrecht, would look to new markets to help make the DTM become more internationally-recognized.
Another reason is for car sales, as racing does help to sell to the public who may decide they want a BMW, Audi or Mercedes, as the emerging markets, such as China, have so much wealth that cars are seen as a status symbol, but also recognized the importance of how the manufacturers themselves have to survive: “The Chinese car market is one of the fastest growing markets of the world and therefore, it has got major significance for our manufacturers. Furthermore, we can feel the extraordinary commitment and the passion of our Chinese partners for this project and therefore, we feel well cared for there.”
Aufrecht thanked both facilities for their loyalty during their tenures on the DTM calendar, and explained the excitement of returning to another well-known track in Hungary: “We are looking forward to returning to Hungary, 26 years after our first race at the Hungaroring. The Formula one circuit meets the highest standards and Eastern Europe also has got a lot of DTM enthusiasm. In addition, our three manufacturers, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, have got plants not far from the circuit.”
So for those wondering what the calendar may look like for 2014, as it is currently provisional and subject to approval by the FIA:
|4th May||Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg|
|18th May||etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben|
|1st June||Hungaroring Budapest **|
|13th July||Moscow Raceway|
|3rd August||Red Bull Ring Spielburg|
|10th August||Nürburgring ***|
|28th September||China – TBA|
|19 October||Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg|
** Subject to promoter agreements
*** Dates to be confirmed.