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DTM could set maximum limit of cars per manufacturer in 2023

The DTM is set to limit the number of cars a manufacturer can enter in 2023, as it continues its efforts to keep the size of the grid under control due to spacing constraints at some tracks.

Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Mercedes-AMG GT3

Following the conclusion of the 2022 DTM season at Hockenheim last weekend, promoter ITR has already begun work for what would be the series’ third year under GT3 regulations.

Apart from considering a ban on one-car teams, which take up the same amount of space in the pitlane as a full-scale outfit, the DTM could also set a hard limit of six entries per manufacturer from 2023 in order to create a more balanced field.

Although ITR refused to comment on the matter when asked, sources within different manufacturers have told Motorsport.com’s sister website Motorsport-Total.com that this idea has already been discussed with them.

At present, such a restriction will only affect Mercedes, which had the biggest presence of any manufacturer on the 2022 grid with a total of eight entries from four different teams.

Infrastructure limitations at some tracks such as the Lausitzring is seen as the chief reason behind the push to limit the number of cars on the grid for next year.

“I'm afraid that we won't be able to take all the teams,” ITR chief Gerhard Berger told Motorsport.com.

“Anything between 26 and 30 cars is great. But we focus on quality. [The quality of the field] has to stay where it is.

"There are a few racetracks where space in the pit lane is limited. In addition, we always need a bit of a buffer for a good guest car. The ideal number is 28. With 30 cars it gets really tight."

Both Audi and BMW had agreed to support the DTM for two years when the series formulated its plan to transition to a customer-based GT3 series from 2021. Mercedes, likewise, only committed for the same timeframe when it announced its return to the DTM via factory support at the beginning of last year.

But Berger said negotiations with manufacturers are going well regarding their continued involvement in the DTM next year and feels the series has become an attractive destination for car brands due to lower operational costs compared to the Class 1 era.

"Everyone is very happy with the return of investment they get in the DTM," said Berger. “Everyone is also aware that it's not a no-brainer. 

“The trees don't grow to the sky in terms of [factory] support, but I have constructive talks with all the manufacturers."

More manufacturers in DTM?

Start grid

Start grid

Photo by: DTM

The 2022 DTM title decider at Hockenheim was attended by representatives from Toyota, including Hypercar programme boss Rob Leupen and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Kamui Kobayashi, who has taken up the role of team principal in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.

It followed the reveal of the Toyota GR GT3 as a concept study earlier this year, which could be  introduced in customer sport from 2024.

Former Porsche sportscar director Pascal Zurlinden, who now works at Multimatic, was also present at the German venue for the final round of the season. Multimatic has been heavily involved in the development of the new Ford Mustang GT3 racer that is also set for debut in 2024.

Berger said he would like to see more manufacturers from outside Germany in the coming years, having only attracted Ferrari and Lamborghini so far following the championship’s switch to GT3 cars in 2021.

"It would be nice if we had an English, an American and a Japanese manufacturer,” said driver-turned-series boss Berger.

Vila Real edging closer to 2023 calendar slot

The chances of Vila Real joining the 2023 DTM calendar have been boosted after a delegation from the Portuguese street venue travelled to Hockenheim last weekend for the race.

Vila Real could become the only circuit from a non-German-speaking nation on the DTM map next year, following the series’ decision to ‘go back to its roots’ and race in only those countries where it has traditionally enjoyed a strong fan following.

The DTM is expected to take a few more weeks to announce its 2023 schedule, but ITR’s Martin Tomczyk revealed that the first round is expected to take place in April

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