Starting in 2020, DTM umbrella organisation ITR will run its own racing series for near-series-spec GT cars as part of the DTM’s schedule of races in Germany and Benelux. The ‘DTM Trophy’, open to international teams and drivers, will feature two free-practice sessions per race weekend on Fridays, and a 20-minute qualifying session and 30-minute race each on Saturdays and Sundays.

Drivers and teams with near-series-spec GT cars eligible for FIA categories E2-SH and E2-SC of all manufacturers are entitled to participate. Almost every brand represented in motorsport has a corresponding GT car with 400 to 500 hp in its portfolio – most notably Audi, BMW and Aston Martin, who are all represented within the DTM, but also brands such as Mercedes-AMG, Porsche, McLaren, Ford, Chevrolet, Lotus, Jaguar, Toyota and Nissan.

German race team Leipert Motorsport will add colour and variety to this year’s DTM Trophy by entering two Mercedes-AMG cars into the series.

The squad, from Wegberg near Mönchengladbach, was the 2019 class winner in the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Championship, and will field two of its customer Mercedes-AMG cars in the DTM Trophy’s inaugural season.

“Great interest on the driver market”

“Our involvement in the DTM Trophy is the ideal addition to our customer sports portfolio,” said team manager Marcel Leipert. “We’ve been represented in various racing series worldwide for years and have celebrated numerous successes – so we’re now delighted to be racing on the DTM platform. The interest in the driver market is substantial, and we’ll soon announce the line-up for our two cars.”

Frederic Elsner, Director Event at DTM marketer ITR, added: “Leipert Motorsport is a hugely experienced and professional operation whose involvement significantly enhances this year’s DTM Trophy. In both endurance and sprint racing, Leipert has tasted plenty of success – and looks set to continue that in 2020. For the fans, the spectacular sound of the Mercedes-AMG 4-litre V8 engines will be particularly appealing.”

€150,000 prize pot

Registration deadline is 11 March 2020, with an enrolment fee of €23,000 plus VAT per participant – with tyres by series partner Hankook and fuel free of charge at all official events.

Series organisers will distribute a prize fund of €150,000 between the top three drivers in the championship. The winner of the Trophy’s junior classification – for drivers under the age of 22 – will also earn a money-can’t-buy opportunity to test a DTM car at the end of the 2020 season.

In order to ensure sporting parity, ITR will determine the specification of all participating vehicle types before the start of the season, from which the basic classification of different models will be made. The resulting Balance of Performance (BoP), used throughout many GT racing categories, will take into account each different vehicle concept to ensure the starting grid is as well-balanced as possible.

A series for ambitious youngsters and seasoned professionals

“With the DTM Trophy, we’re creating an attractive package for both the ambitious young driver and the seasoned professional,” said ITR Managing Director Achim Kostron. “The opportunity to race near-series-spec GT vehicles – a category supported by a diverse and attractive range of international automotive manufacturers – will make for a fantastic series that will be enjoyed by fans and competitors alike.”

There will be three championship categories within the DTM Trophy: one for drivers, one for teams, and a junior category for drivers aged 22 and under (born in 1998 or later).

Driver ratings, common in many other GT series, will not exist in the DTM Trophy. Minimal entry standard is set at International D-licence. Points will be awarded in the same manner as in the DTM: the winner receives 25 points down to one point for 10th position. And, as in DTM, points will be awarded for the top three qualifiers: 3-2-1.

Series to race at every German round of the DTM

Registration for the new DTM Trophy opens on 6 November 2019 and ends on 11 March 2020. The enrolment fee is € 27,000 plus VAT per participant. In its debut season, the DTM Trophy will be held across seven DTM race weekends: Zolder (24-26 April), Lausitzring (15-17 May), Anderstorp (12-14 June), Norisring (10-12 July), Assen (4-6 September), Nürburgring (11-13 September) and Hockenheimring (2-4 October).

In early October, the ITR announced that, in addition to W Series, the DMV GT & Touring Car Cup (DMV GTC) will run on the DTM’s support bill next season. The DMV GTC is a racing series established in Germany for customer sport teams. In the future, this will develop as the category to accommodate cars from categories such as GT3, Porsche Carrera Cup and Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, which race in a single field but are classified separately.