DTM could delay introduction of new turbo engines until 2019

The DTM could delay the introduction of its new, two-litre, four-cylinder turbo engines until 2019

DTM could delay introduction of new turbo engines until 2019

To replace the existing four-litre V8s, the engines are the centrepiece of the Class One regulations being jointly developed with Japan's Super GT series, to be introduced in 2017.

Following input from Honda, Lexus and Nissan, engine regulations were defined by June this year, and the German manufacturers are working towards running turbo units in the new cars late next year.

However, Audi, BMW and Mercedes are now in discussions about whether their introduction should be postponed, based on development costs.

"A decision should be taken fairly soon," Audi's DTM chief Dieter Gass said.

"We will keep on working on the four-cylinder engine as planned, because I think we need to, until we have a definitive decision.

"If you stop now, thinking that things might change, we will be too late if we want to take it back up again."

Gass said he can "live very well both ways" between sticking to 2017 or waiting until '19, but does not expect turbo engines to fall off the agenda completely.

"For the DTM sooner or later it should happen," he said.

"I don't think we should carry on with the V8 for an eternity."

Meetings between the manufacturers - with board members present - and series organisers continued last weekend at Hockenheim.

"We just have to take the overall situation into consideration," BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said.

"Right now, we are three [manufacturers] and we are facing other worldwide situations.

"For example, China sales numbers are not on the same level that we have expected for a while, we now have in Germany certainly a very special situation [VW emissions scandal] which at some stage could also potentially affect Audi.

"We all have always been very cautious about the spending that we have in the championship, and we really have to figure out what it means."

MORE CLARITY NEXT MONTH

The 2015 calendar will be released in the coming weeks, and is set to remain at nine events with two races per weekend.

The DTM is then expecting to outline its future direction in full at Germany's Essen Motor Show at the end of November.

That is set to include the full Class One technical framework, including the outcome on turbo engines, and other sporting measures.

Off-season testing is among the items under discussion, and is set to be reduced this winter.

In 2014/15 manufacturers completed four, three-day tests between December and April.

The first was the traditional young driver test at Jerez and the second a private outing organised by the manufacturers in March, before a pair of official DTM tests.

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