BMW's DTM M3 in Castrol / Aral liveryEnlarge Photo
Like our own NASCAR Sprint Cup series, its concept is relatively simple: race V-8-equipped, purpose-built cars that consumers are familiar with at tracks across the country. That’s where the similarity between NASCAR and DTM ends, however.
DTM cars use production car roofs and come with functional lighting, making them closer to “real” cars than NASCAR models. Races are held on road courses, not ovals, and the race distances are much shorter (typically 170 kilometers, or 105 miles) with two mandatory pit stops.
Today, the DTM is contested between the Audi A5, the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, meaning that manufacturers want as much exposure as possible for their wares. One way to get this is to take the DTM series global, which is exactly what is happening.
Thanks to a just-announced deal with NASCAR and Grand-Am (which will become United SportsCar Racing in 2014), DTM will likely be coming to the United States for more than just exhibition races. Plans are already in place to export the DTM series to Japan, where it will run in conjunction with the Japanese Super GT series.
Don’t look to DVR the North American DTM series any time soon, however. Technical regulations still need to be sorted, and the North American series still needs the buy-in of participating manufacturers. If all goes well (which it rarely does in racing), the new series could debut as early as the 2015 season.
From our point of view, there’s no such thing as too much racing. We say bring the series to North America, as it’s likely to attract fans that aren’t watching NASCAR, Grand Am or ALMS today.