After over three years of negotiations and stalemates, the cars of the Autobacs Super GT Series and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) will run on the same track in the same weekend, as both series have announced demonstration runs at each other’s 2017 championship finales.
It begins on October 14 & 15 at the Hockenheimring Circuit in Germany, where the 2017 Lexus LC500 Super GT and the 2016 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 will do demonstration runs at race speed on the weekend where the DTM crowns its champions.
Then, on November 11 & 12 at the Motegi GT Grand Final at Twin Ring Motegi, the DTM will send a selection of cars to do a similar demonstration run – giving fans on both sides of the Eurasian continent an idea of what to expect when both series finally lock horns under the unified Class One regulations.
Two thirty-minute tests at the Super GT demo at Hockenheim will be followed by 15 minutes of running at race speed around the fabled German venue. No announcement has been made as to who will drive the demo vehicles in Germany.
DTM chairman Gerhard Berger said on Wednesday: “This is a great honour for us. I am delighted that Super GT cars will be making an appearance at a DTM event for the first time.”
GT Association (GTA) chairman Masaaki Bandoh added, “We are looking forward to seeing our cars in action in Hockenheim. This is a proof of the close relationship between Super GT and the DTM.”
No concrete plans for the DTM’s demonstration run at Motegi have been announced as of yet.
As of right now, Berger has laid out a deadline of 2019 for the DTM to revamp its current technical regulations to the Class One spec, based on the pillars of cost-efficiency, spectacle, safety, and modern engine technology – including the switch to the 620+ horsepower, two-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
“Work on the new regulations is in full swing,” said Berger. “We want to find the balance between technologically advanced cars, with which manufacturers are able to demonstrate their expertise, and racing cars that can be run without legions of engineers. And we want high-performance racing cars that stretch the drivers.”
It isn’t the joint-promoted all-star race that is still years out on the horizon – but, at the very least, it’s the first time we’ll see the two fastest silhouette racing series on the same circuit at the same time.