GRAND-AM, IMSA announce deal to bring DTM racing to USFri, 29 Mar 2013 10:15:00 ESTInternationale Tourenwagen-Rennen have agreed to a licensing and cooperation deal that could bring a version of Germany's DTM series to the US.
When the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am are officially combined next year, the resulting body will be called United SportsCar Racing (USCR). IMSA will be the sanctioning body for that series, and DTM races could be run as support events. It was also suggested by an ALMS chief that DTM races could be standalone or join NASCAR and IndyCar weekends.
With the so-called DTM America finally agreed to, there is now a way for manufacturers to run the same DTM-type cars in Europe, the US and Japan – last year Japan's Super GT series agreed to adopt "the basic technical regulations" of DTM for the GT500 class, the top class in the series. That already puts six manufacturers in play: Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW that run in Germany's DTM and Honda, Nissan and Lexus that run in Super GT. The DTM oversight body has invited American brands to Germany for the opening round of the 2013 season, and will begin actively courting their participation in the US series. Check out the press release from Audi with comments on the deal below.
Audi welcomes US DTM initiative
- Plans for new US race series with DTM racecars
- Possible new fields of competition for the Audi RS 5 DTM
- Development Boss Wolfgang Dürheimer: "Of interest to Audi"
Ingolstadt/New York, March 26, 2013 – a new and promising opportunity in motorsport opens up for Audi: as announced at a press conference today in New York, the organizers of NASCAR and GRAND-AM plan a US based race series for DTM racecars like the Audi RS 5 DTM.
To this end, a dedicated platform for the spectacular DTM cars should be in place in the USA by 2016. The responsible parties of the ITR have concluded a corresponding cooperation with their partners in America. It complements a previously existing and similar agreement with the Japanese Super GT Championship organizers.
"As a consequence, the opportunity arises in the future to race the Audi RS 5 DTM not only in Europe, but also in Asia and North America in premium championships," says Wolfgang Dürheimer, Member of the Board for Technical Development at AUDI AG. "As a globally active company, this is exciting and interesting for Audi."
Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America: "Audi has a strong and spectacular history in US motorsport. We are currently looking for options that will allow the four rings to be more visible again on the race tracks throughout the USA. It's fantastic news that there could soon be a US DTM. The Audi RS models are very popular in America. I'm convinced that our customers will be delighted to see the Audi RS 5 DTM in action."
Audi has been active for more than 30 years in motorsport and was frequently successful in the USA during this period. In the 1980s, the brand with the four rings triumphed three times in succession at the Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado. In 1988, Audi won the Trans-Am Series, in 1989 the Audi 90 quattro was the dominant car in the IMSA GTO series. Audi won the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) championship title nine times in succession between 2000 and 2008. In January, the Audi R8 GRAND-AM celebrated a GT victory in the 24-hour race at Daytona (Florida). With the R18 e-tron quattro, Audi clinched the brand's eleventh victory in the 12-hour race at Sebring (Florida) 10 days ago.
Audi teams have won the DTM title in Europe eight times to date: 1990 and 1991 with the Audi V8 quattro, 2002 with a Coupé based on the Audi TT plus 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 with the Audi A4 DTM. For the new DTM regulations introduced last year, Audi Sport developed the Audi RS 5 DTM, with which three teams join the grid with eight drivers in 2013. The new DTM season begins on May 5 around the Grand Prix circuit at Hockenheim.
By Jonathon Ramsey
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