BMW may be absent from DTM grid at the start of 2021

Former BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt has warned that the Munich-based manufacturer could be absent from the grid at the start of the 2021 DTM season

BMW may be absent from DTM grid at the start of 2021

Both BMW and Audi have pledged support for the DTM's move to GT3 regulations next year, as the German championship drops Class One cars to reposition itself as a privateer-based series.

However, while series chief Gerhard Berger expects six Audi R8 LMS cars on the grid, there have always been doubts over whether BMW would have a presence in the revamped category.

BMW's GT3 programme is going through a transition phase, with the ageing M6 model set to be replaced by the under-development M4 GT3.

The new M4 will not be available to customers until the 2022 season, although a pre-homologation debut in the latter part of next year's campaign hasn't been ruled out.

This would mean that potential customer teams will only have the outgoing M6 at their disposal, reducing the probability of full-season BMW entries in 2021.

Intriguingly, BMW was absent from the DTM's presentation ceremony at Hockenheim this month, where the series displayed GT3 cars from Audi, Mercedes, Lamborghini and even Ferrari.

Asked if there is a possibility of there being no BMWs on the grid at the beginning of the DTM's new era next year, Marquardt said: "That really depends upon the outcome of the discussions with the teams. They are happening as we speak. In theory there's a potential for that.

"Should a team that has M6 decide they definitely want to run there, we will try our best to support them. But it needs teams that are interested and willing to run.

"We are still in talks. But for sure our company and works focus is on development of the new car and not putting effort into maintaining and new developments on a car that is basically on the way to being phased out."

Marquardt, who stepped down from his position as BMW's motorsport chief last month, believes the M6 may not be competitive for sprint racing, particularly at the tight and twisty Norisring circuit that is the blue riband event on the DTM calendar.

"That is a car that is really at the very end of its lifecycle even if it is competitive on some of the tracks as you could see this year on the Nordschleife, winning the [Nurburgring] 24 Hours and some of the IMSA races," said Marqaurdt.

"But that car was clearly developed with the focus of an endurance car and also with the focus more on the particular tracks there, which are clearly very different from some of the sprint tracks.

"Honestly, I have a bit of a hard time imagining the M6 at the Norisring with all the hairpins and the short sort of type of track.

"We are not really super well set with our current set up for 2021, but sure [for] 2022 options [are] there for teams and hopefully a lot of teams will be buying the M4 GT3. That should hopefully be a very successful GT3 car for the future."

shares
comments
Rast will become a DTM legend - Rockenfeller
Previous article

Rast will become a DTM legend - Rockenfeller

Next article

How the standout DTM privateer earned respect from Audi aces

How the standout DTM privateer earned respect from Audi aces
The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality Plus

The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality

His day of days in Formula 1 came at Indianapolis in 2005, a day grand prix racing strives to forget. But Patrick Friesacher, the long-serving Red Bull lieutenant, remains active today driving a two-seater that provides ordinary people with a glimpse of an F1 car’s savage potential, including this writer...

Formula 1
Jun 2, 2022
How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir Plus

How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir

OPINION: Questionable driving standards and farcical team orders meant the DTM's first season under GT3 regulations ended under a cloud. But the organisation has responded firmly by banning team orders and welcomed new manufacturers, making for an intriguing season ahead as new and returning names prepare for battle

DTM
Mar 30, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival Plus

The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival

On his rise through the ranks before reaching Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton was usually a cut above the rest. But he never truly asserted himself over a Mercedes-backed fellow Briton who traded single-seaters for touring cars and is now seeking new opportunities after a year largely spent on the sidelines

DTM
Dec 18, 2021
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