In what appears to be a miraculous turn of events for racing fans, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) and Japan’s Super GT have now finalized their agreement on Class One rules for next season. With both leagues agreeing to common rules, we will be seeing a mixed grid of DTM and Super GT machines for a few races in 2019.
With talks between the two series’ beginning as early as 2014, this development has long been in the making. Delays in the agreement for a unified ruling could be attributed to the fact that DTM have held their changes in powertrain and chassis regulations up till 2019. And with their slew of changes to be implemented next year, Super GT could align with DTM’s specifications and proceed with two tie-up races for next season.
Since the announcement of Mercedes’ departure from DTM following this season, pressure is building up on DTM boss Gerhard Berger to find a suitable replacement to keep the series interesting. It has reached a point wherein both Audi and BMW have agreed to a potential bridging year should they be unable to find a new competitor. That said, this twist courtesy of Super GT may well keep the competition in check for the German touring car series.
Berger and Masaaki Bandoh, head of Super GT’s parent company GTA, have revealed that DTM will be moving away from V8s in favor of a four-cylinder 2-liter turbocharged powerplant that will increase power up to 620PS for 2019. That said, Super GT may well follow suit with a similar configuration for the following season. Further changes including new specifications for the front fascia as well as the rear wing for DTM cars will further bring their machines closer to that of Super GT’s. Components for competing vehicles will be manufactured both in Europe and Asia, while DTM will still retain the carbon monococque with a built in fuel cell for the upcoming season.
These regulations make it possible for manufacturers and teams to operate spectacular motorsports on two continents at a manageable cost," said Berger.
"I would like to sincerely thank Bandoh-san and all of my colleagues who worked together on the new regulations. I am delighted that DTM and Super GT have come a great deal closer to their common goal of racing together in the future. We have consistently pursued our previous line in the creation of this groundbreaking common technical regulation technical course for the future of DTM, which will continue to provide an attractive platform for automotive manufacturers."
Two tie-up races, one in Europe and one in Asia, will be held in 2019 to give us a glimpse of how both series’ meld together in one grid. That said, we’ll have to wait till 2020 to get a better idea of how DTM and Super GT will go together.