American DTM Pact Could Lead to Global Racing Series
- An agreement has been signed to bring the German Touring Car Series to America.
- The agreement involves U.S. sports car sanctioning body IMSA and the DTM and its partners and collaborators.
- A global series is envisioned, giving auto manufacturers worldwide a venue to showcase their high-performance products.
NEW YORK — U.S. sports-car sanctioning body IMSA, NASCAR-backed Grand-Am Road Racing and ITR, promoter of the German touring car series, have signed an agreement intended to result in an American version of Europe's popular DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) series as early as 2015.
Further, the collaborative agreement could lead to the eventual formation of a worldwide series for global auto manufacturers to showcase their high-performance products. DTM is also working with the Japanese Super GT series to align rules.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all compete in DTM in a series of races on European tracks. Honda, Nissan and Toyota all race in Super GT's GT500 series in Asia.
The primary objective is to bring the DTM to America in 2015 or 2016, according to the organizers, but the larger goal is an intermingling of European and Asian brands with U.S. marques such as Cadillac and Chrysler's SRT.
"The new cooperation quite obviously also offers a new and extraordinary field of activity for the American premium manufacturers," said Hans-Werner Aufrecht, chairman of Internationale Tourenwagen-Rennen (ITR).
The agreement comes as American road racing moves toward a unified structure combining Grand-Am and the American Le Mans series under the United SportsCar Racing banner, with IMSA as its governing body.
The American DTM partnership deal was announced this week in New York.
"On the heels of our United SportsCar Racing and IMSA announcements, reaching this agreement adds to the momentum we're experiencing right now," Grand-Am President and CEO Ed Bennett said.
Aufrecht spoke of a platform "offering [manufacturers] the opportunity to race on the same technical basis and with the best global promoters for an attractive platform in the core markets: North America, Asia and Europe."
"This would be the opening of the doors for globalization of GT/Touring car races," said Massaki Bandoh, GTA chairman. "We have to take this opportunity to cooperate with each other."
Edmunds says: The possibility of a racing series featuring the best of Europe, Asia and America is tantalizing.