October 23, 2020

BMW won’t enter Super GT just to keep DTM cars running

The DTM and SUPER GT effectively run on the same set of regulations as part of a tie-up that saw the two series run a pair of exhibition races at Fuji Speedway in November last year.

One of the overall goals of the partnership between DTM and SUPER GT was to allow German and Japanese manufacturers to compete in each others’ series, and Motorsport.com revealed earlier this year that BMW had held talks with its Japanese partner Team Studie regarding the possibility of running its M4 DTM car in the series’ top GT500 class.

With the DTM set to move away from Class One regulations in 2021 due to Audi’s impending withdrawal from the series, BMW would be left with seven examples of the M4 car/engine package that it built only two years ago in the run-up to the 2019 season.

However, BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt feels the marque cannot enter SUPER GT just to find a new home for its Class One cars as the investment required to make them fully compatible to GT500 standard would be too big to justify.

“We looked at the SUPER GT effort, but to be honest with you, when it comes to return on investment, the amount of effort it would take to be there, because SUPER GT is running slightly different engine regulations, much more development-dependent and at the same time very different tyre regulations, with a complete open sort of tyre setup,” Marquardt said.

“I think what we have evaluated and discussed also with our market over there, it would not make overall sense to go and do this kind of setup. 

“We had discussed this and made the offer to the Japanese over the last few years in exchange so that it wouldn’t be an extra effort. Let’s say, [during] Class One’s better times, when there would be three or four manufacturers moving across [the two series, it would have made sense]. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened.

“But from our point of view, now to make an extra effort on that doesn’t look like it’s worthwhile.“

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SUPER GT chairman Masaaki Bandoh revealed last weekend during his press conference at Motegi that the respective promoters of the DTM and SUPER GT are due to have a meeting on September 27 to discuss their future relationship.

One thing up for discussion will be the common parts the two series have been using even before the full Class One tie-up was announced in late 2018.

The contract between the DTM promoter ITR and its SUPER GT counterpart GTA runs through the end of 2023, with SUPER GT set to stick with the Class One rules until then.

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