DTM: From 2021 DTM will run GT3 cars and presents its platform for the future

DTM: From 2021 DTM will run GT3 cars and presents its platform for the future

Stuttgart, 6 November 2020 – The DTM of the future is more than just a race series: from the legendary DTM with powerful sports cars as the core via the innovative DTM Electric, the DTM Trophy four young talents and digital motorsport in the DTM Esports up to the DTM Classic with historic race cars from DTM, DRM, Group C and Formula 1: in the future, the DTM platform will be based on five high-class pillars that guarantee a unique motorsport experience.

With this wide-ranging orientation, the DTM platform provides fascinating and future-oriented motorsport that will thrill all generations and serves as a multi-faceted and innovative marketing and event platform for enterprises. Expansion of the DTM platform by further high-quality race series remains a possibility. Founded in 1984, the DTM has become established as a spectacular and emotional race experience for fans in Germany and around the world over the years. Currently, the DTM is broadcast live in over 30 countries and followed on TV and via streaming on the Internet by millions of motorsport fans all over the world. In the past years, the DTM attracted over 600,000 spectators to the race tracks.

“Motorsport and the mobility sector are in a transition phase. Therefore, we are now implementing a progressive diversification of our series’ portfolio for a conscious future that combines the highest demands and innovative trends. We will maintain the DNA of the legendary DTM with fascinating wheel-to-wheel motorsport,” DTM series’ boss Gerhard Berger says. “Traditional motorsport for young and old will remain a fixed element of the DTM platform, from the DTM Trophy via Classic races to DTM Esports. As a separate race series, the innovative and fully-electric DTM Electric is to be added in the near future. All in all, it is a strong package with five high-quality elements with which we will lead the DTM platform into a multi-faceted future.”

Two races per weekend for each series and only one driver per car are proven factors and guarantees for success that also apply to the new elements, all of them strategically interlocked. For instance, the DTM Trophy with its production-based GT sports cars will serve, more than ever before, as a direct stepping stone into a DTM cockpit for young talents. DTM Esports appeals to a young target group while the Classic race series will rather provide nostalgic moments for elder generations in particular. High-performance electric racing, meanwhile, is the focus of the innovative and sustainable DTM Electric.

2021 schedule with nine race weekends

With an eye toward the infection situation that is hard to predict, the DTM will only get its 2021 season underway at the end of May. That gives teams, race series and partners additional time in preparation for the restart. The schedule includes nine race weekends until the beginning of October. Among them are four traditional events in Germany: at the Norisring in Nuremberg, DEKRA Lausitzring, Nürburgring and Hockenheim. With Assen in The Netherlands and Zolder in Belgium, two circuits located close to the German border have also been included. The Red Bull Ring in Austria, Monza in Italy and the new circuit of St. Petersburg round out the calendar.

2021 DTM schedule:

1 – 28–30 May  – Igora Drive, St. Petersburg (RUS)*
2 – 11–13 or 18-20June – Monza (ITA)
3 – 2–4 July – Norisring (GER)
4 – 23–25 July – DEKRA Lausitzring Grand Prix (GER)
5 – 6–8 August – Zolder (BEL)
6 – 20–22 August – Nürburgring (GER)
7 – 3–5 September – Red Bull Ring (AUT)
8 – 17–19 September – Assen (NED)
9 – 1–3 October – Hockenheim (GER)
* – to be confirmed / subject to approval by FIA

Action guaranteed: DTM formation start, competitive pit stops, more power, independent BoP

From 2021, the DTM will be run with sports cars based on the GT3 regulations of the global motoring federation FIA. As almost every car manufacturer, from Aston Martin via Audi, Bentley, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan up to Porsche, has a GT3 sports car in its portfolio, DTM fans can look forward to a great variety of brands. The new way of starting, meanwhile, will provide plenty of action at the race tracks: the ‘DTM formation start’, a rolling double-file start in close formation in IndyCar style. The mandatory tyre change remains a fixed element, to be completed in the shortest possible time with a maximum of six mechanics and two wheel guns. Driver aids like an anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control remain admitted. An independent balancing of the cars that, next to output and capacity is also taking into account elements like the centre of gravity and is also circuit-specific ensures equal chances for the sports cars with their different vehicle concepts. This independent ‘balance of performance’ has already proven itself in the 2020 season of the DTM Trophy. New, however, is the success ballast with 25, 18 and 15 kilograms for the three best-placed drivers, applicable in the subsequent race. As a unique characteristic, the concept with professional race drivers – holding an international A or B-level licence – competing in one car in two sprint races of 55 minutes plus one lap each, remains in place. Moreover, the DTM will continue to race without driver changes.

A talent pool on the main stage: DTM Trophy

In the future, the DTM Trophy will benefit from the major DTM stage even more, because the ambitious young drivers can envisage a direct graduation into one of the coveted DTM cockpits. The two sprint races in the Trophy with a duration of 30 minutes plus one lap continue to be held immediately after the DTM races and can be watched live from all over the world on the streaming platform DTM Grid. In its second year, the DTM Trophy sees its schedule extended by one additional round and it will provide sporting entertainment on seven race weekends. Here, too, success ballast is coming in as a new element. The first three drivers of a race will have to add 25, 18 and 15 kilograms respectively for the next race.

Nostalgia with speed:  former race cars from DTM, DRM, Group C and Formula 1

Classic events are also an integral part of the DTM platform. Depending on the race track, various aspects of classic motorsport are to be highlighted, for instance cars from the legendary Group C at the Norisring, historic Formula 1 cars at the Nürburgring and the Hockenheimring or legendary touring cars from the DTM. For 2021, three Classic demonstration events and three externally organised Classic races have been planned. Coordination of the classic races and activities has been taken over by the Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD), with an expertise that is not just based on the organisation of the traditional AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Europe’s largest event for classic (competition) cars. “We are delighted to support the DTM in the ongoing development of the Tradition element and to organise races and demonstrations with original historic machinery from DTM, DRM and ITC, as well as Formula 1 and Group C,” says Lutz Leif Linden, secretary general of the Automobilclub von Deutschland e.V. and managing director of AvD Wirtschaftsdienst GmbH.

A fully-electric race series: DTM Electric

DTM Electric shows what the future of motorsport can also look like: it is green, has a high performance and is electric. DTM Electric has been conceptualised as an independent series that will be one of the five pillars of the DTM platform in the future, next to DTM, DTM Trophy, DTM Classic and DTM Esports. DTM Electric could be making its debut in 2023. The race series is taking electric motorsport to the next level: it combines technology, innovation and high-performance in an appealing motorsport format, in which future electric production cars from manufacturers or mobility providers will race with public appeal. It promises spectacular racing with powerful, efficient and fast cars, a cost-efficient modular concept and safety at the highest level. The plan includes sprint races with a duration of around 30 minutes and the possibility of automated battery changes during the mandatory pit stop. An initial demonstration vehicle for the new race series was unveiled at the occasion of the 2020 DTM season finale at Hockenheim. The E-car was developed in close cooperation between DTM organisation ITR and renowned automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler that is becoming a series’ and innovation partner of the DTM. Next year already, a DTM Electric prototype is to be developed as the next step.

Virtuell vs real: DTM Esports with an expanded programme after successful launch

The debut of virtual motorsport in the DTM environment already took place with the Esports Classic Challenge in May 2020. The DTM Esports Championship itself got off to a successful start in autumn 2020, bringing together professional race drivers and ambitious sim racers in the digital races. Six professionals from real-world motorsport were up against 18 experienced sim racers who had made it through a three-week qualification with over 8,000 candidates. For the teams’ classification, race drivers from both camps, real-world and virtual, teamed up to form combined squads.

Based on the positive feedback, DTM Esports will become an integral part of the DTM experience platform. In a series of at least seven internationally oriented events, world-leading sim racers will be competing. Moreover, at least one digital competition has been planned as an on-side event in the DTM environment. A development programme for sim racing careers rounds out the DTM Esports project.

AvD as a new partner: sporting organisation from a single source

For the sporting organisation of the race weekends, ITR has entered a partnership with the Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD). Based in Frankfurt, the AvD will be organising and coordinating the staffing of the required official functions. “AvD and DTM are entering a new, strong partnership that we are looking forward to. The AvD will be on duty at all DTM events with its experienced and Formula 1-proven team. Together with the DTM management, we will aim at swift and competent decisions that do justice to the race series on the DTM platform as well as all drivers, teams and organisers and, eventually, also the fans,” Lutz Leif Linden, secretary general of the Automobilclub von Deutschland e.V. and managing director of AvD Wirtschaftsdienst GmbH says. Established in 1899, the AvD is a founding member of the global motoring federation FIA. On 11 July 1926, the AvD organised the inaugural ‘Großer Preis von Deutschland’ at the AVUS in Berlin. The German Grand Prix has been the AvD’s outstanding motorsport event ever since.

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