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Berger: "Too early" for Super GT manufacturers in DTM

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Berger: "Too early" for Super GT manufacturers in DTM
By:
Oct 24, 2019, 9:31 AM

DTM boss Gerhard Berger says it is too early to expect SUPER GT's Japanese manufacturers to make full-time moves into the German-based series.

The DTM and SUPER GT had its first true on-track collaboration at the Hockenheim season finale when Honda, Nissan and Lexus joined the grid in a 'fact-finding' mission ahead of November's so-called 'SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race'.

The arrival of R-Motorsport Aston Martin for 2019 following the departure of Mercedes ensured the DTM kept three manufacturers on its grid, but despite speculation linking Alfa Romeo and Maserati to the DTM, there is no fourth brand in sight for the series.

The recently-announced 2020 SUPER GT cars have also moved the series closer into alignment with the DTM, notably with the Honda NSX becoming front-engined.

When Berger was asked if the DTM was close in securing a SUPER GT manufacturer for his series, he said: "We are not close in the negotiations because the focus at the moment is still on trying to finalise the regulations.

"The first year [in 2020] we are going to be on very equal regulation terms, there is still a small difference but this is more related to the different format and tyres and driver changes.

"But in general, it is going to be the same cars [in each series]. We will see from next year on[wards] what could be a good next step.

"Yes, we are talking about it [manufacturer crossover] but we are brainstorming and seeing what we can all do with this achievement [of uniting the two series].

"It's too early to say we are in any negotiations, or that we have a clear idea what the next step is going to be."

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The ultimate goal of a united Class One regulation is still unclear, although a joint press conference with Berger and his SUPER GT counterpart Masaaki Bandoh at Hockenheim provided insight into a long-term direction.

Bandoh spoke of a "World Cup" dream, without going into specifics, while Berger said the "final goal has to be to do more and more races together" but that he "would like to build it on very solid ground and not do too many things too fast".

The series is planning to continue joint racing into 2020 but there is yet to be a final decision.

When Berger was asked if joint racing was the ideal scenario, he said: "Well, I think for the moment this is practically the best way to do it.

"In the future, it would be nice to have Japanese [manufacturers] in the DTM championship, [and] it would be nice [for DTM manufacturers] to be in the Japanese championship. But also, it would be nice to have separate races with separate points. Both really is fine."

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Series DTM , Super GT
Author Tom Errington