Le Mans winner Stuck calls for DTM to switch to GT3 formula

Two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Hans-Joachim Stuck has advised the DTM to adopt GT3 cars to ensure the continued survival of the fabled touring car category

Le Mans winner Stuck calls for DTM to switch to GT3 formula

The DTM has been hit hard by the exit of the R-Motorsport Aston Martin team - which itself replaced Mercedes after it departed for Formula E in 2019 - leaving the series with just two manufacturers in Audi and BMW and 16 cars on the grid this year.

Moreover, Audi is understood to be evaluating its factory involvement in motorsport, and there is a risk that it could leave the DTM after its current contract expires after 2020 to focus all of its efforts on Formula E.

Such a scenario would leave the DTM with only a single manufacturer in BMW, and most likely signal the demise of the series.

But Stuck, who won the 1990 drivers' title with Audi, believes the DTM could avert such a situation by axing its silhouette Class One cars in favour of GT3 machinery.

"As long as I was [German motorsport federation] DMSB's President my approach was always: '[ITR chairman] Gerhard [Berger], how can we keep this great platform DTM alive?

"Are these very special cars really the right way, or couldn't we change cars from a certain year on and use GT3 cars for example?'" Stuck told Autosport.

"Gerhard always rejected that very strongly: 'That's out of the question, I don't like BoP!' But then something incredibly interesting happened.

"At the beginning of February a conversation between Wolfgang Porsche, Gerhard and myself happened by chance. And that's when Wolfgang brought up this topic.

"This was the first time that Gerhard didn't consistently say no to GT3. He didn't necessarily say anything positive, but he listened. And I thought that was good."

Stuck said that adopting GT3 machinery would make a whole range of car models available for use in the DTM, instead of relying on more expensive Class One cars that are built by only a handful of manufacturers in Europe and Japan.

While the DTM and SUPER GT successfully hosted a joint exhibition race at Fuji last November, the long-term future of the collaboration remains clouded, and Stuck believes he can't see Japanese manufacturers entering the DTM full-time.

"It's too special," Stuck said of the Class One ruleset.

"If you have a GT3 car today, there are different ways to use it. With a Class One car there are only two race series.

"I thought the idea of going to Japan, and also the races we did together, was great and spectacular.

"But I can't imagine that a Japanese manufacturer would join DTM permanently or that DTM cars would be permanently used in Japan.

"After all, I was involved in several discussions and didn't see any future prospects. Especially not now [with the coronavirus crisis].

"A Japanese marque - and I would see Toyota as the most likely candidate - would start at zero in a series where the others have years of experience.

"We saw with Aston Martin how far they were from winning. How long can a manufacturer keep that up? Plus, you'd have to go back and forth all the time if you wanted to do it properly."

shares
comments
Rast: F1 refugee Kubica will face "difficult" challenge in DTM

Previous article

Rast: F1 refugee Kubica will face "difficult" challenge in DTM

Next article

DTM ready to entertain idea of closed door races in 2020

DTM ready to entertain idea of closed door races in 2020
Load comments
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020