Berger: DTM taking a break in 2021 "not a good solution"

Berger: DTM taking a break in 2021 "not a good solution"

ITR chairman Gerhard Berger believes taking a break from competition in 2021 would "not be a good solution” for the DTM, as the series continues to explore its options in the wake of Audi’s exit.

With R-Motorsport Aston Martin dropping out of the DTM earlier this year, and Audi announcing that it would exit the category at the end of the current season, the ITR is forced into a rethink to ensure the survival of the long-running tin-top category.

Among the various options available, it could try and keep the Class One platform alive, switch to GT3 regulations or take a voluntary season-long hiatus in 2021.

There is precedent to the latter move, with the ‘old DTM’ having disappeared in 1996 before roaring back to life in 2000 with three manufacturers, including one (Opel) that had abandoned the series previously.

Asked if the ITR would be willing to consider an enforced break for the DTM next year in a bid to return stronger in 2022, Berger said: “Breaks, I don’t think… [it] doesn't work very well.

“If you have a slightly big company and if you stop it for a year, you bring down all production lines and everything, to bring it back up again it’s a huge effort. 

“And I think here it’s the same. Everything is in place, everything is in gear. If you stop it for a year, I think that would not be a good solution. But I wouldn’t exclude anything at the moment because I simply don’t know yet what the solution is going to be.”

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Berger said the ITR still doesn’t have an answer to how it would weather the current crisis, but he was adamant that he wasn’t a fan of the performance handicap system prevalent in GT3 racing - and hence is against adopting that formula in the DTM.

“We are at the moment obviously checking all kinds of possibilities but to be honest I cannot yet give you an answer because I simply don’t have one,” he said.

“At the moment we are more in discussion how we clarify the whole situation with Audi stopping what could be... what has to be done now to guarantee a good season this year and what possibilities could be for the future of DTM.

“Obviously there are not many regulations outside of Class One. Basically you end up with GT3 cars, but it’s [a] different philosophy, we are back to BoP and stuff and things like this. 

“I won’t say it’s impossible but at the moment it’s not possible to tell you this will solve our problem for the future. I think there are other things that we need to solve first before we think about the future.”

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Series DTM
Author Rachit Thukral