The concept of the best German and Japanese touring cars going head-to-head is one of those dream-state mashups that would usually only exist in diehard fans’ subconscious minds. That was, however, until the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) and Super GT series started chatting back in 2015 about the possibility of a tie-up series. And as of last month, it has been confirmed that the two series will combine for two exhibition races in 2019, with one race to take place in Germany, and the other in Japan.
The news comes after suggestions that a set of united ‘Class One’ regulations are close to being finalized and Gerhard Berger, chairman of the ITR organisation that promotes the DTM, has said the races would be “very special”. Progress may have been accelerated by the departure of Mercedes from DTM at the end of the current season, resulting in Audi and BMW pressing organizers to find a new manufacturer by 2020.
Super GT is expected to run slightly different regulations to DTM in 2019, with a preference towards aero freedoms not allowed under the current DTM rules. And it should be relatively easy to modify the Super GT cars to meet the Class One regulations for the two shared exhibition races. “These races are now possible without the real headache of balancing different concepts,” said Audi’s head of motorsport, Dieter Gass. “I would love it.”
BMW’s Rudolf Dittrich added: “We have put quite a lot of effort in to finalize these Class One regulations. We are very excited once they are finished and for what arises from them. I think we’re going in a good direction.”