Hans Werner Aufrecht: “We have agreed upon the goal that in 2017, all manufacturers will be racing to absolutely identical regulations."
DTM in Europe, Super GT in Japan and a new series in the USA to be established under the guidance of GRAND-AM will be staging touring car races to entirely identical technical regulations on three continents in 2017. Prior to the DTM round at the Norisring in Nuremberg, this goal was agreed by representatives from the motorsport federations, the series’ promoters and the car manufacturers already represented in the series, Audi, BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota.
In line with the co-operation agreements between the three series, the common Steering Committee, responsible for the maintenance and the joint development of the regulations, assembled for the first time in Nuremberg.
“We have agreed upon the goal that in 2017, all manufacturers will be racing to absolutely identical regulations. That is a very important step. Moreover, we agreed that the Steering Committee will be governing the regulations and developing them in this spirit”, said Hans Werner Aufrecht, chairman of the board of DTM rights holder and promoter ITR e.V. and the host of this historic meeting at the Norisring.
For the road towards the joint regulations in 2017, everyone involved in the Steering Committee have defined a clear road map. “We are very happy that we are able to start a new chapter in the history of motorsport with this first step,” said Masaaki Bandoh, chairman of Super GT promoter, GT Association, which will already be using parts of the regulations that were developed for the DTM in 2012, from 2014 onwards.
“Development of the cars from Honda, Nissan and Toyota is to be finalised by the end of this month. For the fifth Super GT round in Suzuka on August 16th, we have planned to put all the cars on display and show them to the media and the fans,” said Bandoh. The new series planned by GRAND-AM is to run at events of the future United SportsCar Racing series.
“In the new United SportsCar Racing series, we have some great tracks like Daytona, Sebring or the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. We will be racing at some great tracks,” Ed Bennett, president of GRAND-AM, who is still in the construction process of the new series, announced.
Bennett will host the next meeting of the Steering Committee, which is to assemble at least every six months. “We have planned to have a rotation between our three regions. Accordingly, the next meeting will be held in the USA at the occasion of the Daytona 24 Hours at the end of January, 2014,” Bennett said. After that, the next meeting will follow in the summer of 2014 at the 1,000 kilometre race in Suzuka.
Underneath the Steering Committee, a Technical Working Group was established at executive level. “Of course, there also were different opinions in our first meeting. However, we have the same goal and we try to find solutions for detailed questions. The Technical Working Group will be assist the Steering Committee and will be made up of technicians who will find these solutions,” said Dr. Gerd Ennser, board member automobiles of the Deutsche Motor Sport Bund (DMSB).
“With the new regulations, we have the great chance to achieve a cost reduction and the possibility to put our Japanese races on a global platform,” said Yoshiki Hiyama, secretary general of the Japanese Automobile Federation (JAF).
The first meeting of the Steering Committee in Nuremberg was attended by Masaaki Bando, Junichi Tsuda (both GTA), Yoshiki Hiyama (JAF), Hideo Sato (Honda), Shoichi Miyatani, Toshikazu Tanaka (both Nissan) and Keizo Takahashi (Toyota) from Japan, Ed Bennett (GRAND-AM) and Jim France (NASCAR) from the United States and Hans Werner Aufrecht and Michael Bernard (both ITR), Hans-Joachim Stuck, Dr. Gerd Ennser, Christian Schacht (all DMSB), Jens Marquardt (BMW), Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Audi) and Toto Wolff (Mercedes-Benz) from Germany.
In the autumn of 2012, DTM and Super GT had signed a co-operation agreement for the adoption of the technical regulations. Another licensing and co-operation agreement of the ITR e.V. with GRAND-AM and the US motorsport federation International Motor Sports Association followed in March, 2013.