Abt backs DTM race format switch

Reigning DTM champion team boss Hans-Jurgen Abt has backed the initiative to ditch the DTM's current two-race format in favour of one event of a longer duration

Abt backs DTM race format switch

Abt acknowledged that the request of the TV companies to change the race format was a sensible idea, although it has not yet been confirmed by series organisers.

"I prefer a single race because it is easier to understand," he said. "The sprint races have not been so good, and the people don't understand why we have them. A lot of people have been talking about it, but nothing is decided yet. The TV people are very interested in that."

The longer distance means the cars will be forced to refuel during the race, bringing it closer to an F1 format. Abt believes there is no added safety risk: "We will work hard to ensure that everything is done in a professional and safe manner," he said.

Abt had hoped to use the launch of Abt Sportsline UK in Birmingham at the weekend to announce its sixth DTM driver, but his identity remains under wraps until he speaks to Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich this week. Allan McNish was in the frame for the seat, but his Renault F1 test deal has closed the door to a deal.

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