“The new partnership between the parties will further increase the value of DTM, Grand-Am, IMSA and SUPER GT,” said GTA Chairman Massaki Bandoh. “This would be the opening of the doors for globalization of GT/Touring car races. We have to take this opportunity to cooperate with each other.”
European automobile manufacturers responded optimistically to news of the agreement, acknowledging the importance of the U.S. market to their businesses and the direct link DTM-style racing would create with consumers.
“This offers the opportunity to use the Audi RS 5 DTM in a premium race series not only in Europe but in Asia and North America too, in the future,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Audi AG’s Board of Management member, technical development. “For Audi as a globally operating company, this development represents an exciting and interesting option.”
Jens Marquardt, BMW’s motorsport director, said his organization “welcomes the planned cooperation between DTM and Grand-Am/IMSA. It represents another important step on the way to the internationalization of DTM. We as BMW are extremely open-minded, regarding these plans. The North American market represents the biggest market area for BMW in general – and the biggest market area for BMW M vehicles, too. BMW has got a great motor-racing tradition in the USA and therefore, we are truly happy about the prospect to also see DTM vehicles racing in the USA, in the future.”
“For Mercedes-Benz, the U.S. represents the biggest market area worldwide,” said Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “We are particularly delighted about the long-term cooperation deal between DTM and GRAND-AM/IMSA. Thanks to the technical basis agreed upon, we will be offered the opportunity to use our DTM cars to also demonstrate the competitiveness of our brand on U.S./North American race tracks, in the future.”
Sports car racing legend Hans Stuck, now the president of Germany’s motorsports governing body, Deutscher Motor Sport Bund (DMSB), considers the current DTM competitive environment a template for success.
“If you want to hold motor-racing events in car nations such as Germany or the U.S., your grid must feature cars that have what it takes to fascinate the crowds,” Stuck said. “The technical DTM regulations that were developed by DMSB in close cooperation with the car manufacturers involved – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – combine this guideline with an extremely high safety level that also represents an international benchmark. We are delighted that these regulations will be used not only in Europe, in the future, but also in Japan and the U.S.”