DTM and ADAC in talks about collaborating for 2023, sale rumoured

ADAC’s DTM and GT Masters have yet to reveal their calendars for the 2023 season, and according to Motorsport.com’s sister title Motorsport-Total.com, the two series have been negotiating joint activities behind the scenes for several weeks now.

Such cooperation would have been unthinkable two years ago, when the DTM’s switch to GT3 regulations was followed by a war of words between ITR president Gerhard Berger and then-ADAC Sport president Hermann Tomczyk.

However, the feud between the two parties subsided until Berger met Tomczyk and the latter’s understudy Gerd Eisner in Norising in July. Tomczyk’s son Martin was aided in these matters by becoming de facto “No. 2” in the ITR hierarchy, just below Berger.

DTM and GT Masters previously held joint events at the Lausitzring in 2016-17, so there is precedent for such a move. However, none of the racetracks are aware of such a collaboration in 2023, with ITR and ADAC booking different dates for their respective championships.

There will be many challenges hosting a huge weekend with both the DTM and GT Masters as they have part competing partners and different support programmes. In addition, there would not be enough space to accommodate all the teams in the pits and some might have to pitch tents in the paddock.

DTM had originally planned to present its 2023 calendar at the Red Bull Ring weekend in September, but the announcement had to be delayed due to a chain reaction caused by Formula 1’s scheduling of the Belgian Grand Prix in July instead of its usual slot in late August.

However, DTM has found a new date for its show at the Norisring from July 8-9, yet no announcement is planned regarding next year’s schedule until at least the beginning of December.

#91 Team Joos Sportwagentechnik Porsche 911 GT3 R: Christian Engelhardt, Ayhankan Goffin

Photography: Alexander Trinitz

Will ADAC take over DTM?

There have been persistent rumors in recent weeks about a possible takeover of DTM by ADAC. While this may seem like an odd acquisition given that DTM and GT Masters are competing tournaments that run on the same GT3 platform, both series actually have conflicting issues and could benefit from the same ownership.

Since DTM adopted the GT3 formula in 2021, GT Masters have struggled with a drop in team entries, while DTM itself has seen a record grid this year. It is a trend that is expected to continue in 2023.

What’s more, Berger has been the exclusive owner of DTM’s parent body ITR since Audi and BMW both pulled out their equal stakes at the end of the 2020 season. While the former F1 driver is credited for his role in the DTM’s survival, he must now take the full financial risk of running it. tournament.

It is understood that the manufacturers left him with five million euros after the demise of the first category, but the coronavirus has taken a toll on the series’ finances.

With DTM’s business model reliant so heavily on ticket sales, which have been severely constrained by the pandemic, it must be assumed that the manufacturer’s money has long been used to fill budget gaps.

Although Berger has repeatedly denied in the past that he wants to sell the motion tracking array, it cannot be ruled out that this will be on the agenda in his dialogue with ADAC.

Because unlike ITR, the ADAC is not required to make a profit from its motorsport activities, something its current sporting boss Ennser has made abundantly clear.

Thus, a DTM under Germany’s largest auto club could make sense for Berger in the medium term.

With the acquisition, ADAC will have the opportunity to create a proper pyramid in German sports car racing, with DTM as the best class for professional works drivers, GT Masters as the GT3 talent factory and GT4 Germany as the entry-level series.

ITR itself has revealed that it is in talks with ADAC, but no possible takeover has been commented on.

“We are currently in discussions regarding next year,” a statement read. “We can confirm that we are talking to ADAC and examining potential synergies that we can achieve together in the future – particularly for the benefit of participating teams and partners.

It should be noted that the teams, racetracks and manufacturers do not have much time before they decide on the course for 2023. The fact that nothing has been announced yet could indicate significant hurdles and it cannot be ruled out that the talks will not lead to anything. Results, and everything will remain the same for now.