DTM drivers back two-day schedule after trying Brands Hatch format

Leading DTM drivers have backed the two-day format the series adopted at Brands Hatch last weekend

DTM drivers back two-day schedule after trying Brands Hatch format

DTM returned to Britain after a five year absence last weekend and raced on Brands' Grand Prix circuit for the first time.

Running on the GP loop is limited to just 24 days a year for testing and racing, which meant the DTM schedule - which usually starts with a half-hour first practice session on Friday - was crammed into two days, leaving teams far less time to hone set-ups than usual.

Brands Hatch unknowns did the DTM a favour

"The difficulty is the timing, because you don't have a lot of time between practice and qualifying - only 80 minutes," Audi's reigning champion Rene Rast told Autosport.

"To nail the set-up, let's say in two or three hours, is very difficult, especially when you don't have a lot of driving time. It's more like a guessing game.

"I liked the format to be honest. It compresses everything, it makes life a bit more difficult, but it's very nice."

Rast's fellow Audi driver Loic Duval added: "I'm a big fan of it.

"I'm more used to it with some of the others series I've been racing in like Formula E where everything happens on the same day.

"It's pretty cool to try and put everything together in a really short time."

The timetable benefitted those with recent experience on the GP loop at first, including Mercedes' Daniel Juncadella - who claimed his second DTM pole on Saturday and went on to win his first race at the 67th attempt.

"That is great, it was a little help for me," he said of the truncated schedule.

"When you drive on Friday you can go to sleep, analyse everything better and find again little things.

"Today [Saturday] was all in a row so it was like Formula E style. That was cool."

Race two winner Paul di Resta said Mercedes had been a "big supporter of just having two-day events", while team boss Ulrich Fritz believed the fact Mercedes' cars are all run centrally by HWA helped it overcome the difficulties presented by the format.

Jamie Green suggested the format was the "worst-case scenario" for him, having not driven on the layout since 2003, but believed it had merits.

"The sessions are shorter by five minutes and there's less time in between to look at data and figure out what you need to change," he said.

"I wouldn't be against two-day events, it's just that this is a track I don't know. There's less track time than a normal weekend so it makes it a bit more difficult."

Gerhard Berger, chairman of DTM's parent ITR group, said the weekend proved two-day events were "doable" but suggested similar formats would not be implemented at other events.

"I think it was quite fitting for us to give it a try," said Berger.

"Normally we would most probably stay with our format but it was good to try it this way. Is it doable? Yes."

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Series DTM
Author Jack Cozens
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