Super GT's alignment with DTM no waste, says Cassidy
Nick Cassidy feels SUPER GT's push to harmonise its rules with the DTM was still worthwhile, despite Audi's pending withdrawal from the latter series plunging the future of Class One into doubt.
SUPER GT's 2020 cars are the first to be built entirely in accordance with the rulebook that the Japanese championship had agreed with the DTM, the culmination of years of negotiations between the two series.
This paved the way for the first 'Dream Race' event to be held featuring five different manufacturers at Fuji Speedway last autumn.
However, the future of the tie-up is now in doubt as Audi leaving the DTM after the 2020 season may force the German championship to drop Class One rules in favour of a cheaper, more customer-friendly formula to ensure its survival.
But even if the two series end up diverging again from a regulatory standpoint, Cassidy thinks that SUPER GT will still enjoy the benefits of introducing more standard components and simplified aerodynamics.
"It looks potentially like it will help SUPER GT a little bit," the 2017 series champion told Motorsport.com. "We share now a lot more common parts, which should bring down the costs a lot. Development has stopped in a lot of areas.
"The cars between the three manufacturers are closer than ever because we’re sharing those parts. The aero is less which means the development is less and we're saving money.
"They’ve definitely done things to match these Class One regulations, which will help the championship going forwards. For the manufacturers here, maybe that was a good thing even though [potentially] DTM won’t be there anymore."
Honda faced the biggest challenge of SUPER GT's three GT500 manufacturers as it was forced by the Class One rules to abandon its mid-engined NSX-GT in favour of a front-engined version of the car, bringing it in line with rivals Nissan and Toyota.
Other changes include the adoption of the DTM's Bosch electronics, common suspension parts, a standard floor and an aero development freeze around the front and rear wheel arches.
Cassidy added: "I don’t think SUPER GT really knew about [the risk of Audi leaving the DTM] and they wanted to be aligned more.
"It’s a shame that it happened and that potentially [further] joint races might not eventuate, but in terms of our own championship it’s great we are more aligned.
"[The DTM's future] won't affect SUPER GT too much. It’s more the international fanbase that takes a hit, that’s the most disappointing thing. But in terms of the teams and the manufacturers, potentially they aren’t too worried about it."
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