Super GT boss keen on 'winter series' with DTM

SUPER GT boss Masaaki Bandoh says a winter series could be the next step in his series’ on-going collaboration with the DTM.

Super GT boss keen on 'winter series' with DTM

SUPER GT and DTM successfully hosted their first joint race at Fuji this month, and the two championships are currently weighing up options to take their collaboration forward.

Although the end goal of the Class One regulations remains unclear, a world championship involving cars from both series has been mooted several times - and remains on the agenda.

Bandoh believes hosting a winter series could serve as a stepping stone to a full-blown world championship, but warned that costs must be considered before adding more races to the schedule for teams in both SUPER GT and DTM.

“First of all, the Class One technical regulations are only just being implemented now fully [in SUPER GT] in 2020,” he said. “So there is still much to learn and much to discuss. But obviously the goal is to continue to race together. 

“However what type of format – will it be during the season, or a Dream Race like this, or in the future could we think maybe of having a winter series? 

“To have a winter series we have to make something that is attractive for the manufacturers in our two championships at the moment but also for the future. 

“We would like other manufacturers to join, in which case we could have maybe a world championship race. That would be something also to look into the future. 

“This is only the first Dream Race, from here we are continuously going to study. This is the dream of the promoter, however how do the manufacturers react to this dream? 

“In order for the manufacturers to participate they need an annual budget, not only that, is it profitable marketing-wise? So there is much detail involved in creating a big dream, therefore we are going step by step."

Only seven DTM cars were transported to Japan for the SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race, with more than half of the 18-strong field - including all four R-Motorsport-run Aston Martin Vantage DTMs - giving the joint event a miss.

DTM chief Gerhard Berger says he’d like to see all SUPER GT and DTM teams assembling together, while also suggesting more wildcard appearances in both series.

"Well, obviously the topics are on how we are going to go on, what are we going to do with Class One in the future,” Berger explained.

"Then from there, go and say ‘OK, what do we need to correct? What do we need to do differently? What are the next steps? When can we do the next common race?'

"Maybe with more than seven cars on our side. Full cars on our side and full cars on the Japanese side would be a good next step for me.

"And then obviously what would be great to see is some Japanese cars in Europe running DTM and the other way around. 

"It’s a long way to go, I would say, we are not there yet. How we can be there, at the end of the day it’s always a financial issue.

"Especially in this difficult period manufacturers are facing, it’s about cost reduction - not cost increase! So that’s the issue."

Additional reporting by Jamie Klein

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