Audi Skeptical About Two-Manufacturer DTM Series, Calls It ‘Hard To Imagine’
The future of the German Touring Car Championship seems uncertain once Mercedes-Benz exits after 2018.
German Touring Car Championship long-stay Mercedes Benz announced in July that it would be leaving the series in favor of Formula E, changing the tone for the two remaining competitors, Audi and BMW. When the news was released, the two marques were forced to reevaluate the situation, and in turn, caused a bit of doubt as to how the series would go on. Now, Audi director of motorsport Dieter Gass is concerned about the future of the sport, claiming that a two-manufacturer DTM is "hard to imagine."
While this isn't the first time there have been only two makes in the series, Gass feels that it could be more difficult now than before. In an interview with Autosport, Gass mentioned the six-year span that included just Audi and Mercedes before BMW joined again in 2012.
"We have seen the championship with two manufacturers in the past, Audi and Mercedes," he said."Having said that, in the current situation it's difficult to imagine it."
Gass added that it's near-essential to add at least a third manufacturer, with even more being welcomed.
"That's what being assessed right now, to try and find at least one replacement, possibly more coming in," he claimed. "We know for some years now there have been attempts to attract other manufacturers."
This comes after DTM chief Gerhard Berger said earlier in August that the series would be fine without Mercedes. He did note, however, that they "have one and a half years to hopefully get another manufacturer", showing what direction he'd like to take if possible.
"Gerhard Berger is quite new," Gass added, "and brought an interesting new perspective to DTM. I would hope the chances of bringing in a new manufacturer are a little bit higher."
Regardless of who's competing, he reiterated that DTM is the pinnacle of touring car racing; one that is currently unmatched, even when compared to BTCC and similar runnings.
"Currently there is only DTM at this level of touring car racing," he said. "In the future you'll need to see what comes up and what might be there. But currently, only DTM."