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DTM "seriously thinking" about restricting testing in 2024

The DTM is “seriously” considering putting a cap on private testing in 2024 in order to rein in costs and make the series more affordable for teams.

Thomas Preining, Manthey/EMA Porsche GT3-R

The DTM has previously hesitated from restricting testing in any manner, with the ADAC arguing that GT3 cars are so widely used that it would be impossible to monitor any running outside of the scheduled race weekends.

Top teams in the DTM have taken full advantage of this freedom by arranging tests at every track on the calendar except the Norisring, which being a street circuit is only available for use once a year. 

It is estimated that a typical squad was devoting a third of their budget on testing alone last year, leading to calls from some quarters for an outright ban.

The ADAC is now working to cut down on unnecessary spending, with a proposal regarding testing limitations set to be submitted to teams and manufacturers before the end of January.

Speaking to Autosport at this month’s Autosport International Show, ADAC motorsport boss Thomas Voss strongly hinted that testing could be restricted in the team before the start of the 2024 season in April.

“We are seriously thinking about a test limitation, maybe not a test ban in the first step,” he said.

“We want to make the proposal to our teams and manufacturers and the next two weeks [at] latest, how to handle such a test limitation or test ban. 

“But we are convinced and we were convinced also by the manufacturers and teams that it would be the best way to limit testing, yes.”

Clemens Schmid, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Clemens Schmid, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

SRO’s GT World Challenge Europe doesn’t allow teams to test on tracks that are on the calendar, which takes away a major incentive from holding any private running as there is no direct advantage to be gained over rivals.

Fabian Plentz, whose Rutronik team switched from ADAC GT Masters to GTWCE last season, argued that the SRO-run series shows it is possible to enforce a test ban in the DTM.

Plentz also stressed that it is important to work together with teams and manufacturers before formulating any regulations regarding testing.

When Voss was asked if the ADAC is taking suggestions from entrants about restricting testing, he said: “Not anymore! 

“We tried it over the last season and there are many different opinions to that, so we have to decide something. 

“We spoke to the manufacturers and especially the German manufacturers are on the side of – and want – this test limitation, so I think it makes sense.” 

The ADAC has three options on the table with regards to testing restrictions. These are 

  • An outright ban on testing from a certain date on the calendar
  • No testing allowed at a venue from a certain number of a days before the race
  • Each team gets a certain number of test days per year, which can be used freely
Thierry Vermeulen, Emil Frey Racing Ferrari Ferrari 296 GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Thierry Vermeulen, Emil Frey Racing Ferrari Ferrari 296 GT3

Any restriction on testing will, however, have to take GT Masters into account as several teams compete in both championships.

GT Masters is geared more towards amateur drivers and upcoming talents, and it is important that they get more freedom to test their cars outside of race weekends to hone their talent. Plus, it is part of ADAC’s business model to allow GT Masters drivers to book tracks for test sessions.

While DTM drivers won’t be allowed to take part in any such tests allowed under GT Masters regulations, teams could still gain some knowledge that they will be able to deploy in the DTM.

Additional reporting by Sven Haidinger

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