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Old 30 Apr 2003, 22:10 (Ref:585675)   #1
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The future of the DTM

Well now. Rumours have been going around that either Mercedes or Opel or both will pull out of the DTM at the end of 2003, or else at some other point in the future. The series continues to lack that elusive fourth manufacturer, and has to get by with Mercedes, Opel and (in a covert way) Audi. So what next? The format has changed, so that we now have one hour-long race per meeting (a welcome change in my view, if a step away from touring cars and towards sports cars), but what is in store for 2004 and beyond?

There were rumours that Porsche, of all people, might enter in the future, presumably with a V8-engined 911 (though I'd have thought that developing a turbo 996 for the GT championship would make more sense); Alfa Romeo have also been the subject of speculation.

So, will there be a fourth manufacturer? Will Mercedes and Opel stay the course? Will Audi come in as a works entrant (now that Tomczyk and Terting are racing in Audi factory colours)?

Your thoughts and ideas.
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Old 1 May 2003, 01:08 (Ref:585802)   #2
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Opel is fairing the worst in terms of competitiveness so I won't be suprised if they leave. There are theories about MB leaving b/c they want to return to CART in '05. But that's in 05.

Considering Alfa's current financial situation, I'm suprised if they would enter the DTM. I hope that HKS built Toyota Altezza was just a closet R&D test mule for Toyota! Ditto for Honda racing their RSX?

But regardless of who leaves, I will be saddened.
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Old 1 May 2003, 01:26 (Ref:585809)   #3
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Why isnt Ford interested in the DTM? They are in most other sedan categoris around the world, there must be something fundamentally odd with DTM that they havent had serious involvement thus far.
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Old 1 May 2003, 01:39 (Ref:585816)   #4
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Ford doesn't have a mainstream (affordable) 2 door coupe for the European market. The Mustang and the Ford Cougar are the only cars that come to mind. The former is probably not very popular while the Cougar is about to be cancelled or was cancelled already. So what car can they race with?
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Old 1 May 2003, 01:48 (Ref:585822)   #5
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Perhas a 'marriage' of V8 stars and DTM? they have similar specs in Bodies and Engines, why not that way the Manufacturers can retain peripheral involvement like in Trans-Am and just give the blessing for a body style. it should be good racing still, and with enough notice it might be a great privateer, Professional race series.
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Old 1 May 2003, 04:19 (Ref:585873)   #6
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Zakspeed used to race the Mustang in the old days of the Group A series, indeed they supplied a pair of cars to stalwart Dick Johnson to run in the Aussie series.

If the Mustang isnt popular in Europe, watching it kick the butts of the Merc, Audi & Opel should do wonders for the Ford brand if not the specific model.

Or build a 2 door version of the BA Falcon and take that to Europe in local Supercar form
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Old 1 May 2003, 06:48 (Ref:585912)   #7
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If the Mustang isnt popular in Europe, watching it kick the butts of the Merc, Audi & Opel should do wonders for the Ford brand if not the specific model.
I think for American sports and muscle cars to be successful in Europe, they need to come out with smaller engines. Perhpas with the next generation Mustang, they can be more successful.

OTOH, Ford can race their Mondeo in the DTM now that they made sedans legal for '03. I think that would be the perfect sized car. Let's hope they bring the Mondeo back to NA as well!
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Old 1 May 2003, 10:05 (Ref:586041)   #8
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I know they're doing the ETCC and F1, but I reckon BMW would do good job in the DTM.
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Old 1 May 2003, 10:58 (Ref:586080)   #9
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BMW so nearly did enter the DTM, of course; you don't think they built the 4-litre V8-engined M3 GTR for sports cars, do you? I think Munich's complaint is that the DTM is a 'national' championship (with some foreign rounds), and therefore won't generate as much exposure as an international series like the ETCC. Which is a shame; I'd rather see Mullers J and D and Giovanardi and Priaulx at the wheels of fire-spitting V8s than tame little 2-litre machines.

As for Ford, they could, of course, wedge a V8 into the Mondeo, though, as someone above remarked, it would be an ideal way to promote the Mustang in Europe. If not, why not have Prodrive wedge a Mustang powerplant into a Volvo C70, and finish the job Zakspeed started?

Toyota/Lexus would also be obvious contenders, as their only outlets at the moment are F1 and the Injured Racing League. A V8-engined IS would be spectacular, and could hardly hurt their profile in Europe.
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Old 1 May 2003, 12:16 (Ref:586153)   #10
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Who told you that Mercedes will pull out? Opel makes sense but Mercedes...strange!!
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Old 1 May 2003, 13:00 (Ref:586204)   #11
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I also can't see Mercedes leaving, but Opel i can.

Half the problem for the manufacturers is that although it is known as a Touring Car series, the look of the cars, the technology involved etc...is similiar to a sportscar. Manufacturers need to know what they are getting in on.

With the emergence and success so far of the reborn ETC, i can't see all that many manufacturers flocking to the DTM, like they did when the ETC was canned after 1988.

I'm am abit suprised that Ford Germany never entered. I thought that DTM rules now allowed 4 door cars to participate. Maybe, similiar to what GTR said, they could just take one of the BA Falcon's over there (maybe Prodrive could run it like they do in Australia?)
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Old 1 May 2003, 16:33 (Ref:586410)   #12
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Who told you that Mercedes will pull out? Opel makes sense but Mercedes...strange!!
MB would pull out if Opel leaves and no other manufacturer joins the DTM. Why race aagainst a bunch of semi-works (Audi) or privateers (If Opel sells the old cars to teams?) The NATCC ended the same way. When Dodge withdrew, Toyota also withdrew their entries.
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Old 1 May 2003, 16:37 (Ref:586414)   #13
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as someone above remarked, it would be an ideal way to promote the Mustang in Europe.
But a new Mustang is due in '05. Would there be any benefit in racing the present one for 2 or 3 years?

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A V8-engined IS would be spectacular, and could hardly hurt their profile in Europe.
Actually, I thought I read Lexus/Toyota are testing a V8 in the next generation IS. Don't know if it will make it into production.
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Old 1 May 2003, 18:03 (Ref:586490)   #14
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I don't think that Mercedes will pull out of DTM at the end of this year. Mercedes is the biggest promoter of DTM. If Opel get's no success than I am afraid they will quit.

Other manufacturers?
Ford - I don't understand why Ford (Germany) is not interested in DTM. Ford has factories in Germany and sells a lott of cars. I have good memories of the big Fords of the brothers Ruch (???) in the 90s.

Honda - Are concentrating on F1.

Toyota - Like Honda they are concentrating on F1. Maybe Lexus? Let's hope it. An advantage is that their motorsport headquarter (TTE) is in Cologne, Germany.

Nissan - I give this manufacturer the most chances to enter DTM. But... the reason Nissan pulled out of the German STW (super touring championship) was because it had a low promotional value.

Maybe the Japanese driver Kaneishi can make DTM more populair in Japan.

Alfa Romeo - Concentrating on ETCC and FIAT has no money for another series.

Seat - Would be nice, but choosed ETCC and Le Mans.

Renault - Why not? They are doing already F1, F. Renault 2000, F. Renault Monza, F. Renault V6, Clio Cup, Clio V6 Cup, Rally Super 1600.

BMW - Concentrating on ETCC. There is also some old pain. I have my doubts about the argument that DTM generates less exposure than ETCC. Here in Holland drivers like Albers, P. Huisman and Bleekemolen (DTM) get more media attention than D. Huisman and Coronel (ETCC).

A negative aspect of DTM is that I get always the feeling that it is Mercedes vs Audi (vs Opel) instead of drivers/teams against each other.
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Old 1 May 2003, 18:40 (Ref:586539)   #15
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A negative aspect of DTM is that I get always the feeling that it is Mercedes vs Audi (vs Opel) instead of drivers/teams against each other.
Has racing ever been about the drivers? Manufacturers first concerns are that their cars are #1--they really don't care which factory driver wins. The driver is their 2nd concern.
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