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WRT and Others in Support of Upgraded GT3 Cars in DTM

GT3 team bosses optimistic about prospect of DTM adopting upgraded GT cars…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

WRT principal Vincent Vosse says he would be “happy” to see upgraded GT3 cars become part of the DTM while other GT team bosses have also voiced support for the concept.

Options to ensure the survival and future of the German national championship, including GT3 adoption, are being evaluated following the withdrawals of key manufacturers.

Mercedes left the DTM at the end of 2018 while R-Motorsport Aston Martin provided a stopgap solution last year before its own exit reduced the field to just two brands.

Audi’s decision to withdraw at the end of the current season is set to leave BMW as the DTM’s only Class One manufacturer and has raised questions about the series’ future.

Autosport reported last week that the DTM is due to present draft regulations for a GT3-based ‘GT Plus’ concept to the DMSB German motorsport body.

Vosse, whose WRT squad competes as an Audi customer in both the DTM and top-level GT3 racing, believes ditching DTM’s Class One for a GT formula would be a positive move.

“Class One cars have no future anymore and GTE probably doesn’t have any future,” Vosse told Sportscar365.

“I think if you are able to have one category supplying different championships, which is already the case for GT3, we should really call it GT because it will be the main GT category.

“GT3 is a very competitive category. The goal for most young drivers coming from single-seaters is being a works driver in GT3 and then being able to jump into DTM or LMP1. This is exactly what we need: something to have a goal for.

“If the goal stays at being a DTM driver, it’s even easier for the drivers jumping into GT3. There will be more opportunities and it will be even more competitive because there will be more drivers and championships.

“I have nothing to do with the decision of having a GT category instead of DTM, if that is happening. But if that is the case then I’m happy about it.”

Vosse added that his team remains “fully concentrated” on the DTM, which it joined in 2019.

A GT-based DTM would likely enable WRT to merge its GT crew into its DTM operation. Currently, the DTM and GT arms of the experienced Belgian squad are separate.

“We are looking for programs for our DTM boys and if it’s GT it makes our life easier,” said Vosse.

“But we are not too keen for making everything easy. We also want to take different challenges. We are looking closely at what is happening in DTM.”

The boss of Mercedes-AMG outfit GetSpeed Performance, Adam Osieka, has also suggested that a move to GT Plus machinery would be of interest to his organization.

The Nürburgring-based outfit became a Mercedes-AMG factory affiliate this year and currently operates the brand’s GT3 Evo car in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, International GT Open and the NLS/Nürburgring 24.

“The DTM is a strong brand that is highly valued in Europe,” said Osieka.

“I am convinced that the concept can work and we are very interested in starting as a team in the DTM in 2021.

“For us, the main attraction lies in the extended GT3 regulations and the fact that sprint races are contested with professional racing drivers. The idea has a lot of potential.”

The possibility for GT3’s usage in the DTM has also been recognized by ROWE Racing team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf, who voiced his support for the idea last month.

ROWE currently operates a Porsche 911 GT3 R in GTWC Europe Endurance Cup, and two BMW M6 GT3s that are frequently piloted by current DTM drivers in the NLS.

“The DTM still has great pulling power, both with the fans and the sponsors,” said Naundorf.

“It is important for German motorsport to keep this platform, even if it is as a way of securing a base for young drivers.

“Our team has the right cars, which are ready to race, as well as many team members with DTM experience. We also have partners who would be interested in an involvement in the DTM.

“We are open to discussions. If there were to be a DTM with GT3 cars next year, then we would like to be involved.”

Vosse Foresees No Big Impact on GT Masters

Should the DTM adopt GT regulations, Vosse expects there to be minimal negative consequences on ADAC GT Masters, which would become a direct competitor to the DTM as another GT3-based German championship.

WRT is currently active in both series, having added a two-car GT Masters program to its stable for the 2020 season.

While DTM features single-driver races with tire changes during pit stops, GT Masters requires two-driver lineups to share a single set of tires over the course of each race.

“[GT Masters] have their own thing and they are looking very strong,” said Vosse. “It’s growing very well and I don’t think they need anyone. So I don’t think having DTM, if they go the GT way, will have a big impact.

“I think it will be something different. If you look at every GT Masters driver today, their wish would be to do DTM. This has to stay on.

“The only difference is that there will be some DTM drivers who will be able to do some ADAC GT Masters races.

“Instead of just being a DTM driver and doing DTM all year, you would be a driver who could do more than just that. They would be an expert in GT racing.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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