Photo: DTM Media

Rolling starts and new tyres for DTM in 2021

Gerhard Berger, head of the DTM promoter ITR, has confirmed that the series will have sprint races with rolling starts and new specification tyres from next year.

The originally planned standing starts had generated discussion about the costs involved in adjusting the clutch of the existing GT3 cars.

“Next year there will be rolling starts in the DTM,” Berger said. “But not as a typical rolling start, but rather as the DTM starts now after a safety car intervention (referring to the Indy-style side-by-side restarts).”

The new GT Pro concept is attracting a lot of interest, according to the Austrian,

“You can say that Audi will be there with at least four cars,” he said. “BMW will be there, but not at first, as the M4 GT3 won’t be homologated until later. Maybe they will start the season with the M6.

“We’ve received about 40 enquiries about participating in the DTM next year.

“There have been many discussions and substantial things that I will confirm at the right time. But I expect all the main manufacturers to be there.

“I’m surprised about the positive response from the teams. The teams clearly want sprint races and are attracted to the DTM platform. The teams like the proposal on the table, although the technical details have to be finalised.”

Berger also confirmed that Hankook will continue to be the series’ tyre partner next season, with the South-Korean manufacturer still in an agreement with the series until 2023.

“Our tyre partner is Hankook, there is no discussion about that,” added the Austrian. “It will be a different tyre, as GT tyres are different from Class 1 tyres, and we will see if we’ll use it to control performance, with either a softer tyre or a harder compound.”

Berger also explained how the coronavirus crisis is having an impact on the plans for next year.

“Personally, I would like the season to start early, but maybe it’s better to start later to allow things to settle down,” said the former Grand Prix driver. “I’m also concerned about the financial effects of the crisis, as I think we will see them next year.”

The calendar will also have a similar format to DTM’s recent seasons.

“The plan is having 50% of the races in Germany and 50% in surrounding countries, or perhaps a 60-40 share,” he said. “There are tracks that I would like to see in the calendar, such as the Nordschleife, but I don’t know whether it can happen for next year, as we have other things to sort out.”