Good news race fans: rumors of the European DTM touring car series expanding into the United States appear to be true. New reports seem to confirm that the DTM, in partnership with both NASCAR and Grand-Am, will race stateside in 2013.
“Internationalization has been our goal, in order to ensure that cars [built] to DTM regulations can be used in more countries all over the world,” Hans Werner Aufrecht, chairman of the DTM organization, told SpeedTV. “We have had very constructive talks with the Grand-Am organization and we are very excited with this new partnership.”
Although talks between DTM and Grand-Am may be evolving, it’s still a relative unknown as to how NASCAR will factor into the touring car series. Early reports suggested that DTM events would be tied to both Grand-Am and NASCAR races, but the stock car organization currently features only two road courses on its present schedule. Given the 12 DTM races will likely be split between Grand-Am and NASCAR events, it appears the divide may not be precisely 50/50.
Additional speculation surrounds what teams will participate in the U.S.-spec DTM series. Reports indicate that the factory-backed Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz teams will continue to field their cars in the U.S. series. Interestingly, Speed reports there may be a clause allowing Grand-Am and NASCAR teams to expand into the DTM series, providing they ink an agreement with one of the three manufacturers.
“I would think you will get some cross-pollination from teams,” Chip Ganassi, owner of several racing programs including a NASCAR and Grand-Am team, told Speed. “The good news is that they are trying to get more factory involvement around [Grand-Am].”
Although Aufrecht and his organization certainly have their work cut out for them, it’s at least refreshing to see another form of road racing making its way to the U.S. Here’s hoping the venture pans out better than Formula 1’s last crack in America.