Porsche team's DTM plans thwarted by car unavailability

Speed Monkeys’ plans to step up to the DTM have been thwarted by the unavailability of a used Porsche 911 GT3 R at a competitive price.

Porsche team's DTM plans thwarted by car unavailability

As reported by Motorsport.com last month, Speed Monkeys had been at an “advanced stage” with preparations to contest the German championship this year with reigning DTM Trophy champion Tim Heinemann. This would have come in addition to its two-car Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 programme in the DTM Trophy support series.

But for the project to come to fruition, it required finding a 911 GT3 R in the used car market, as Porsche has stopped manufacturing new units while it develops its successor for 2023.

Speed Monkeys was unable to procure a car in time for pre-season testing at Hockenheim and a decision to call off the project was made last week.

Team boss Christian Bracke revealed that it had entered into negotiations with a seller, only to discover that the 911 that had been originally earmarked for his team had been sold to Karsten Molitor’s MRS squad.

“The car slipped through our fingers, because that's what Molitor bought," Bracke told Motorsport.com’s sister German site Motorsport-Total.

"We had assumed the car was reserved for us. Then it was first come, first serve. They already had three people committed who couldn't pay for it. I then said ‘we'd take the car, but we still had to work out a few contractual details’. We got that going, but then the car was gone."

Speed Monkeys looked for alternative options on the other side of the Atlantic, but was dissuaded by the asking price of the model. 

"There is a new car in the US but they want $700,000, and there's a used one for $600,000," Bracke said. "But if the car costs 450,000 euros new, how am I supposed to convince partners to shell out an extra 300,000? You also have to bear the logistical costs because the car has to come to us from the US.

"I'm not prepared to spend the money so unnecessarily in times like these. And that's for a project that I'm sure we would have loved to do, but not at any price. 

“The problem is that the owners of these cars are now playing poker, knowing that there are no cars. There are several teams looking. And as long as that's the case, the price will stay that way."

Speed Monkeys hasn't completely given up on the Porsche DTM project and could potentially enter the championship next year subject to availability of the 911 GT3 R.

"Next year, one or the other Porsche teams will certainly turn their attention to the DTM and then we would no longer have a unique selling point," added Bracke.

“The question is whether we'll still be able to get the financing on our feet so easily. Besides, a car would have to be really cheap by the time the new Porsche comes along in 2023."

Following this development, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that Porsche will be present on the DTM grid this year alongside fellow German manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes as well as British brand McLaren, with Rowe Racing also having recently ruled out running the 911 it owns alongside the two M6 GT3s it has already confirmed.

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