DTM to spread its wings - but no UK race

The DTM looks certain to race outside of its German homeland next year, but a British race for the crowd-pleasing V8 machines will not be on the schedule

DTM to spread its wings - but no UK race

The DTM calendar will be expanded from this year's nine rounds to a maximum of 12, with Austria's Grand Prix circuit, the A1-Ring, the most likely venue for the reborn series' first visit outside of Germany.

"There is a great chance to go to the A1-Ring," said Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug. "The organisers do a fantastic job and it fits in with what we want to achieve as we build the series up."

Both Haug and Opel sport boss Volker Strycek stressed that the DTM would not fall into the trap of its previous incarnation, the Class 1-based series that ceased to exist at the end of 1996, by adding high-cost, poorly-attended overseas races to its schedule.

"It makes sense to go into different countries, but only ones close to Germany, where we can get the same fan base," said Strycek. "The average DTM fan will maybe go to two or three races, then watch the rest on TV, so why make the expense of flying everything to Brazil or Japan?"

Strycek suggested that a race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, where the catchment area would include the key German markets of Cologne and Bonn, could be included, but he dismissed the idea of a race in the UK in the near future.

"I don't like to say we will never come to the UK," said Strycek, "but while we are still building this championship, we must concentrate on being close to Germany."

Haug echoed Strycek's comments, saying: "The UK is not even in discussion - it is not our target."

Next year's schedule will kick off in late April or early May, giving it the best chance of good weather, according to Strycek.

"Why should we race in the fog and the rain when we can wait a little longer," he said. "Okay, you can never guarantee the weather at a place like the Nurburgring, but we can at least improve our chances..."

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