Mercedes has made their announcement to leave DTM at the end of the current season. This has served as something of a wake up call to the management of the series, realizing that they needed to shake up the regulations in an effort to attract more manufacturer support to the series. They’ve been in talks with Japan’s Super GT series to come to a common regulation rulebook since 2014, and this was the push they needed to make it happen, according to this report on motorsport.com.
The new common regulations appear to be based around DTM’s current safety cell carbon monocoque as a common unit for all manufacturers. The new regulations, set to be implemented by DTM next year, will see the big, expensive, high-revving V8s ditched in favor of a more powerful 2-liter turbocharged engine. The series claims the new engine should make a bit over 600 horsepower and propel cars to top speeds over 180 mph.
Super GT will not make the complete changeover to new Class One regulations until 2020, but the two series believe that they should be close enough to race together in two sprint events next season. One joint race will happen in Europe, and the other will occur in Asia, though dates and locations have not been finalized.
The idea here is an eventual attempt to draw the GT500-class competitors to build cars to race in DTM. Surely Audi and BMW, the sole remaining DTM competitors, would welcome the competition, and perhaps build a few extra chassis to race in Asia as well. The common chassis is intended to increase safety in both series, and reduce parts costs. Time will tell if it is successful.