Berger reveals bid to get Rossi a BMW Misano DTM guest drive

DTM boss Gerhard Berger has revealed there was an attempt to get Valentino Rossi to join his fellow MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso in racing at Misano next month

Berger reveals bid to get Rossi a BMW Misano DTM guest drive

The plan was part of a bid to increase the race's popularity, and Rossi was linked with a BMW guest drive.

Earlier this month, Audi announced that Ducati rider Dovizioso would take its guest driver slot at Misano, with both brands sitting under the Volkswagen Group umbrella.

It is unclear how involved BMW was in the DTM's attempt to get Rossi into the seat for Misano, but Autosport understands the Yamaha rider's contract prevents him from taking the opportunity.

When Autosport asked if the DTM had made an attempt to get Rossi a guest drive, Berger said: "To be honest, yes [we made an approach].

"My dream was having Valentino in the BMW and Dovizioso in Audi. I have a half-dream [now]!

He then joked: "[But] next year is coming..."

The DTM rounds at Brands Hatch and Misano are key to the series' on-going internationalisation aims, but both have struggled to lure strong crowds.

Last year, BMW ran Alex Zanardi as a guest driver at Misano, where the DTM trialled a night-race format that it ultimately did not retain for 2019.

"Misano also had potential to have this atmosphere [similar to the popularity at Zolder last weekend], but in Italy, if it's not MotoGP or Ferrari, it's difficult [to attract fans], said Berger.

BMW RBM boss Bart Mampaey explained to Autosport that a Rossi guest drive in the future would be "fantastic" but stressed he had not been aware of the attempt to get him into a seat for Misano.

When Rudolf Dittrich, head of BMW Motorsport's vehicle development, was asked by Autosport if BMW had been involved in the Rossi approach, he said: "For sure we are looking at an interesting guest driver line-up this year.

"Last year we had success with Alex Zanardi and we obviously want to continue along these lines.

"You talk to various people and see what calendar fits, the capabilities [of a driver] and if preferences fit. We are in talks with people, let's see what the season brings."

R-Motorsport Aston Martin team principal Florian Kamelger told Autosport that he was "open-minded" to running a guest driver in 2019.

This is despite the new-for-2019 squad having had a late build of its four Vantages and having to manage a limited supply of spare parts.

Kamelger would not confirm or deny if the team had prepared a fifth Vantage for a guest driver.

shares
comments
Was the DTM right to return 'home'?
Previous article

Was the DTM right to return 'home'?

Next article

Ducati MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso completes first Audi DTM test

Ducati MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso completes first Audi DTM test
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020