DTM working 'under high pressure' to find new manufacturers

DTM boss Gerhard Berger says the championship is working "under high pressure" to find new manufacturers to come in after Mercedes leaves the series

DTM working 'under high pressure' to find new manufacturers

Mercedes will quit the DTM at the end of 2018 to enter Formula E, leaving only Audi and BMW.

While the series survived for six years with two manufacturers in the past, when Mercedes and Audi fielded older-spec cars to keep grid numbers up between Opel leaving in 2005 and BMW returning in 2012, DTM chiefs are hoping to avoid taking similar measures this time around.

When asked what his hopes were for 2018, Berger told Autosport: "I hope that we will find a third and fourth manufacturer most of all, who will then fit in well with the DTM.

"We are talking to some of them, but it is not so specific at the moment that we could report: 'Yes, we have one now'.

"It's not like that. We're still working on it, under high pressure. That's our main priority."

Super GT link DTM's 'best hope'

Berger said he remains positive about the DTM's future after Mercedes leaves, and he is keen to make sure the championship is strong enough to sustain the exit of a manufacturer.

"I feel the optimism by myself, but there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome in order to finally feel safe," he added.

"What is clear, however, is that it must not be the case that a manufacturer's exit will cause an entire racing series to collapse.

"There must be enough substance - fans, teams and organisers - to compensate for a setback.

"The participation of manufacturers is very important and right for a series.

"That brings substance. Motorsport would not exist at all without the commitment of car manufacturers."

But Berger wants to avoid getting into a situation where manufacturers have too much say in how the series is run.

"As soon as a manufacturer makes such a commitment, he naturally also demands a return in the form of a say," he said.

"If you pay, you have a say - according to this motto.

"This may seem understandable, but it also brings certain difficulties.

"Each manufacturer looks through his very own glasses; you think of advantages.

"On the one hand, a manufacturer should have a lot of fun with the respective racing commitment, on the other hand the self-interest should be put behind in favour of success for the whole series.

"It's a balancing act you always have to do - difficult, very difficult sometimes."

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Series DTM
Author Roman Wittemeier
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