Motegi Demonstration a Big Step Towards DTM/Super GT ‘Inter-Series’

by Chloe Hewitt

According to bosses from the DTM Series and Super GT the demonstration at Motegi has been called a big step towards a combined ‘inter-series’ race.

This comes after the Super GTs carried out demonstration runs at the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring in October.

Plans were put forward two years ago for a pair of races that would allow DTM machinery to compete against their Super GT rivals in a combined ‘Class One’ which were set to come into play as early as this year.

However, the push for the merger of the two championships’ regulations stalled until Mercedes’ bombshell decision to withdraw from the DTM at the end of 2018 led to a renewed interest in an alliance.

On Saturday, all six manufacturers took to the track together for the first time.

Loic DuvalMaro Engel and Augusto Farfus represented Audi, Mercedes and BMW on behalf of the DTM, with Heikki Kovalainen (Lexus), Ronnie Quintarelli (Nissan) and Tomoki Nojiri (Honda).

Masaaki Bandoh, Super GT chairman, has suggested a combined race for the two could again be on the cards following the reactions to the demonstrations as work continues to establish the Class One regulations.

“It was a heartfelt moment to see the [Nissan] GT-R and [Lexus] LC500 lined up with three DTM cars on the track at Hockenheim,” said Bandoh.

“Today, six cars got together, and I got emotional again.

“I also felt that the distance between Europe, DTM, Super GT, and Japan got closer.

“Bringing these race cars together in front of the fans is a big step towards the inter-series race.”

ITR chairman Gerhard Berger added: “What I and [Super GT] chairman Bandoh are trying now is not simply to deepen our friendship, but to create a common set of regulations.

“If manufacturers from Japan and Germany built racing cars based on unified regulations, then the car can compete in either series, which would enhance the brand of the cars as well as reduce costs.

“We are hoping to realise an inter-series race as our final goal, so that we can provide a great satisfaction to both of our fans.”

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