Revised DTM calendar under threat as Germany extends ban on public events
The DTM looks set to be forced into further changes to the 2020 calendar after German chancellor Angela Merkel announced that a ban on public events will remain in force until the end of August.
Series organisers ITR had issued a revised calendar last month as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the aim of starting the season at the Norisring in July and with all ten scheduled events being run between then and November.
The decision to extend the ban on public events means the Norisring event is now at risk of being cancelled thanks to the additional issues caused by the event being run on a street circuit – which makes it more difficult to run the event on a new date.
Should the Norisring date fall by the wayside, then the race scheduled for the end of July / start of August at either Anderstorp or Igora Drive would become the season opener, although the round that follows a week later at Zolder is also at risk due to Belgian authorities planning to keep a ban on large scale events until the end of August.
This will also affect the revised TCR Europe calendar, with the third race of the season planned for Spa in July.
Brands Hatch is also scheduled to host a round of the series in August, and whilst that event could go ahead – with a ban on motorsport meetings running until the end of June – it would be dependent on current government restrictions being lifted.
Whilst some series are believed to be looking into the possibility of running events ‘behind closed doors’, the DTM is unlikely to make such a move, with ITR boss Gerhard Berger telling ServusTV “if the fans are not there, there will be no races.”
The DTM has yet to respond to the the latest announcement from the chancellor, but had previously admitted that it was aware of the need to “remain flexible and pragmatic” about the ongoing situation and that the season would only begin when it is safe to do so.