BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt believes the harmonization of DTM and Super GT regulations is “extremely close” and could give new life into the German championship, which is set to lose a manufacturer at the end of this year.
Talks between series promoters GTA and ITR have continued, with plans for joint exhibition races next year and the prospect of a world championship for GT500-spec and DTM machinery under Class 1 regulations.
Marquardt, who has been one of the major proponents of a unified platform, said he thinks it’s now closer than ever to happening, despite numerous delays since the initial agreement was struck in 2014.
“I think, for me, the important part is that we are working together with Super GT, manufacturers as well as the organizers, to get the get the Class 1 regulations now completely finalized,” Marquardt said.
“We are extremely close. I am very confident that this is going to be very [soon] that we finalize everything.”
While there are currently differences between the platforms, DTM is set to introduce two-liter turbocharged engines next year to fall in line with Class 1 regs that will also call for changes.
It comes after DTM cars rolled out with updated aero kits this year, which could be implemented, in some form, on GT500 cars in the exhibition races.
“That was always the intention, bringing the championships closer together, having exchangeable possibilities for the cars,” Marquardt said. “So far it wasn’t possible because obviously they were too different. With Class 1 that would be the case.
“And for sure, that should be something. You could see last year that when the Japanese brought cars over and we also brought cars to Motegi, you could see how much it was appreciated by the fans.
“That’s at the end of the day what it’s all about.”
Marquardt admitted that DTM, which loses Mercedes-Benz at the end of this year, would not be sustainable over a “long period of time” as a two-manufacturer series.
Instead, he’s hopeful the championship can rebuild on the basis of GT500 manufacturers, as well as newcomers to the platform.
The BMW Motorsport boss downplayed reports that GT3 or GTE-specification cars could replace the current DTM platform should it no longer be sustainable.
“The main point is that we need to make sure that DTM as a platform is as attractive as it can be for anyone to be involved,” Marquardt said.
“Obviously Japanese manufacturers already having cars is the closest. But it should also be that over that, others that could be looking at something, could be looking at a touring car engagement.
“They could be seeing that with Class 1 the opportunity in DTM but also in Asia through Super GT. It really gives you something where you could say, ‘hey, this is really something to get involved in’.”
While no plans are currently in place, Marquardt said BMW would consider running cars in Super GT, should the two platforms be unified.
Todt: ‘No Compromises’ for Proposed Class 1 World Championship
FIA President Jean Todt, meanwhile, said they will not accept any compromises for a proposed world championship for Class 1 regulations.
GTA Chairman Masaaki Bandoh revealed last month a vision of creating a single championship for DTM and Super GT500 entries, although would be dependent on the harmonization of the rules.
“It’s something we have been discussing,” Todt said. “Ideally, that would be a very good achievement.
“Practically, I’m not quite sure if it can happen. We will see if it could happen with some clear guidance of what is an FIA world championship. I would be happy to consider.
“But I will not accept compromise. So, if it had to be compromised, it will not happen.”