Why the DTM made a U-turn on driving aids ban in 2021

The DTM has agreed to allow driving aids such as traction control and ABS in 2021, despite having originally not intended to use them for the series' new GT3 era

Why the DTM made a U-turn on driving aids ban in 2021

As part of the new GT Pro regulations for the revamped series when it is reborn as a privateer-led, GT-based series, ITR chief Gerhard Berger had envisaged modifying GT3 cars, not only to make them faster but also better suited for an all-professional driver field.

This included tuning the engines to produce 600bhp, maintaining the DTM's usual standing starts, and dropping driving aids that have been designed with amateurs in mind.

However, after agreeing to drop standing starts due to the costs associated with development of performance clutches, the series has now announced that it will allow teams to retain the pre-installed driving aids on their GT3 cars.

While current drivers had supported the DTM's initial push to race without ABS and traction control in 2021, the series has been forced to abandon its plans because of 'difficulties in a quick implementation of a deactivation of the driving aids and the subsequent expenses for development.'

This was explained by the Gottfried Grasser, whose eponymous team fields Lamborghini Huracan GT3s in GT World Challenge Europe as well as the GT Daytona class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

Grasser Racing, which already has a presence in Germany via the ADAC GT Masters series, is currently evaluating a two-car DTM entry for 2021.

"It's not enough to simply turn off the ABS," said Grasser.

"Instead, completely different braking systems have to be designed. Without ABS, I need different brake pumps and calipers for the GT3 cars.

"The relation of the diameter of the brake disc front and rear would have to be adjusted.

"Besides, I can't install something like that and hope that it will work tomorrow. For that I have to test for 15 days and test different components."

Grasser also pointed out that removing ABS and traction control systems could adversely impact the competitiveness of the BMW M6 GT3, which has a much more front-heavy weight balance compared to many of its competitors.

With the Munich-based manufacturer working on a new GT3 challenger based on the M4 that could debut in the latter part of the 2021 DTM season, any investment into the outgoing M6 model is likely to be minimal.

"Our Lamborghini with the weight on the rear axle would probably be very good on the brakes, because it has a very good weight distribution due to the rear engine," said Grasser.

The DTM also confirmed that Sat.1 will telecast all races in German-speaking countries next year, having signed a multi-year deal in 2019 that encompassed the 2021 season.

The TV contract is important for Berger to lure teams after the exit of Audi and BMW as factory entrants. At 99,000 euros, the entry fee for the DTM is higher than it is for GT Masters, while the running costs are also expected to be greater due to increased wear-and-tear.

But with high-profile media coverage and a broadcast deal with a major channel, Berger has promised significantly better return on investment to the teams.

shares
comments
Berger expects Mercedes to return to DTM with GT3 rules

Previous article

Berger expects Mercedes to return to DTM with GT3 rules

Next article

Porsche will not modify 911 GT3 for DTM's new rules

Porsche will not modify 911 GT3 for DTM's new rules
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Author Rachit Thukral
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
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series Plus

The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was an ardent detractor of Formula E and was reluctant for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. But this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure the DTM's existence in the future of motorsport

DTM
Dec 13, 2019