Username or Email Address
Do you already have an account?
Forgot your password?
  • Log in or Sign up

    VWVortex


    View RSS Feed

    Audi News Blog

    Grand-Am Announces US-Based DTM Series Is a Go

    Rate this Entry


    We've been hearing whispers of DTM racing somehow linked to Grand-Am all season but official word has finally come through and that news is much better than we'd hoped. According to SPEED, a 12-race US-based DTM championship will begin in the 2013 season. The series is reported to be a support show for Grand-Am and even NASCAR racing events which is most interesting indeed.

    Perhaps some things are coming together. Red Bull Racing has been an important participant in both series for years and Audi/Red Bull star Mattias Ekstrom even jumped over to NASCAR for two races this season.

    "Internationalisation has been our goal, in order to ensure that cars to DTM regulations can be used in more countries all over the world. We have had very constructive talks with the GRAND-AM organisation and we are very excited with this new partnership," said Hans Werner Aufrecht, chairman of ITR.

    In many regards NASCAR and DTM are much alike. While the cars are not similar at all, the two are both series with cars modeled on popular sedans in the market by major manufacturers that boast huge audiences in their home markets but suffer from of a lack of interest outside of their respective homelands.

    This news comes just days after BMW confirmed it would join the series in 2012. For 2011 at least, the series looks to remain solely a two-marque competition between Audi and Mercedes.

    How would a US series change things? It is natural to expect American-based teams most obviously American teams fielding cars from marques already in the series. With standardized rules across multiple markets it is natural to expect further manufacturer participation especially by those looking to improve their presence in the lucrative American and German marketplaces. Could GM develop an a DTM car for its Opel Insignia and Buick Regal twin? Would Lexus or Infiniti, entrenched in the USA and working on European distribution, see the series as a similarly attractive outlet?

    We're hoping more manufacturers jump into the series and, of course, that Audi chooses to remain. DTM has been a staple in our own motorsport focus and seeing that widen to more than just a contest with Mercedes would be a boon. Likely, access to NASCAR enthusiasts would help companies like Audi offset investment in their programs.

    Read more after the jump.

    SPEED.com


    AutoWeek.com - Analysis: DTM series to join Grand-Am in the U.S.?

    Comments

    1. David@vwvortex's Avatar
      We've seen how well having Grand-Am/NASCAR races have pulled audiences(try dismal failure) so seeing a 12 race schedule is a bit amusing. 2013 launch date as well is interesting. Gives them time to set expectations at least.

      Color me rather unimpressed about it all.
    2. Metallitubby's Avatar
      I think any new-ER competition is a good thing, AND there are a ton of DTM fans in North America. Bring it.
    3. 155VERT83's Avatar
      US DTM racing would be great! Bring it on.
    4. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by David@vwvortex
      We've seen how well having Grand-Am/NASCAR races have pulled audiences(try dismal failure) so seeing a 12 race schedule is a bit amusing. 2013 launch date as well is interesting. Gives them time to set expectations at least.

      Color me rather unimpressed about it all.
      We'll see. Manufacturer involvement is a key. The Daytona prototypes are all identical in appearance and, by design, do not bring in the level of investment of say an Audi or a Peugeot nor are they compatible with any other world series like LMS or 24 Hours of Le Mans... the latter which totally drives Audi's investment in its program. Rolex is poorly positioned but adopting DTM rules takes a feather out of Don Panoz's cap by adopting rules from another market to help allow manufacturers to spread out the cost. I could see DTM becoming the headliner and Rolex being the support series.
    5. vw_jason79's Avatar
      From what I heard on Wind Tunnel, there will be a mixture of current DTM drivers and American drivers which could bring an interesting aspect to it as well. "Cross-germination" of American sportscar series and a DTM drivers/fans/cars could only bring more interest to each type of series, not less. Also if this will help get more factory backing, I'm all in for that. Whats the worst that could happen, it goes tits-up in a couple of years? So what?
    6. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by vw_jason79
      From what I heard on Wind Tunnel, there will be a mixture of current DTM drivers and American drivers which could bring an interesting aspect to it as well. "Cross-germination" of American sportscar series and a DTM drivers/fans/cars could only bring more interest to each type of series, not less. Also if this will help get more factory backing, I'm all in for that. Whats the worst that could happen, it goes tits-up in a couple of years? So what?
      I actually heard about this first on Wind Tunnel (Tivoed and watched the night before last). I was surprised this story didn't get more rotation before we ran it on Wednesday. I think it's significant for sure.
    7. David@vwvortex's Avatar
      I can see the whole draw of manufacturer backing of sorts, but I'm also curious as to what flavor it will be. See Grand-Am had "manufacturer" backing(not really and it was feeble) in what amounted to a template racing series. Drivers loved it... "fans" did not as evident by basically nobody watching it or showing up to the races. The main concern from an ALMS perspective is how much will this pull $$ away from support to teams over there. Remains to be seen. Is BMW going to end support for Rahal and tell him to go it alone? I don't see a major impact to ALMS as much with this than I do with possible FIA GT3 entries into Grand-Am.
    8. Crubb3d Rymz's Avatar
      YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS :thumbup::thumbup::D:D
    9. nick526's Avatar
      Awesome, DTM is a lot of fun