Wittmann: DTM could cope with just having three German races

Marco Wittmann reckons the DTM could cope with scaling back to just three German rounds

Wittmann: DTM could cope with just having three German races

Zolder, Misano, Assen and Brands Hatch make up the non-German rounds on the current calendar, with Zolder and Assen new for 2019, in addition to races at Hockenheim (which has two rounds), Norisring, Lausitz and the Nurburgring.

Recent seasons have also featured the Red Bull Ring and Moscow Raceway, but the DTM has had mixed success with its non-German races.

"For me, we have three big German races, which we have to keep, and that is Hockenheim, Nurburgring and Norisring," said Wittmann.

"I'm super-free to go more international to have some European races [around those three German races].

"Also maybe [races] in Japan, I'm always a guy who is super-open to new race tracks because it's a challenge for all the drivers to come to new race tracks, so hopefully the future looks great."

When the mixed success of international rounds compared to the popularity of races such as the Norisring were put to Wittmann, he said: "I think the Norisring is just a track that has [a special factor] somehow.

"They have it easier because they can bring the fans to the track, which probably makes it easier because it is in the town and is the only street circuit on the calendar, so it's spectacular.

"I would say maybe the other tracks - even they can learn a bit from it.

"Especially the environment outside of the track, like how it is built - it's more like a festival. Not like a typical race track."

Details of the DTM's 2020 calendar are scarce, although series boss Gerhard Berger has openly talked about his "dream" of having a Monaco race.

Wittmann, who as raced in the DTM as a BMW driver since 2013, also feels the series needs to change its name because calling itself the German touring car championship is "not big enough" as the series looks to become more international.

Autosport understands that a series name change is still under consideration, after it was first suggested during the 2018 season.

Wittmann told Autosport that he believes a name change could help it attract manufacturers to compete in addition to Audi, BMW and the R-Motorsport Aston Martin team.

"I'm fully behind this [international] way because in general, I think the DTM has the name that says 'German touring car championship'," said Wittmann.

"But the series is so professional and actually, in the end, everybody knows the DTM is the second-best championship worldwide next to Formula 1.

"The name 'German touring car championship' is not big enough. For me, international is the way to go and to attract more manufacturers.

"For Audi and BMW it's great to race in Germany. We are super-happy that Aston Martin stepped in, but we want to attract other manufacturers.

"I think you have to go more international. It maybe does not need to go worldwide, but more international."

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