Following the bombshell announcement that Mercedes-Benz would be leaving DTM at the end of the 2018 season to pursue Formula E, the promotors of the series have released the following statement:
“The ITR as the organiser and promoter of the DTM regrets this step by Mercedes. We have to respect the decision in a sporting and fair way. The DTM is one of the world’s most significant touring car series. Mercedes has announced its withdrawal at the end of the 2018 season well in advance. That gives the ITR the time to analyse the situation and to prepare a sustainable concept for the future.”
Mercedes, along with Audi have been stalwarts of the series since its inception in its current form in 2000; From 2000 Opel were also present in the series but left in 2005, leaving Mercedes and Audi to go head to head from 2006 through to 2011.
For the 2012 season BMW joined the series, once again making it a three-way battle between the manufacturers.
Following the announcement, Audi reaffirmed their commitment to DTM on twitter:
They also revealed their regret that they would be losing their long-time sparing partners in the series:
This is a developing story that we will be keeping track of at The Checkered Flag, please check back soon here for the latest news.