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Super GT/DTM 'inter-series' race plan back on after Motegi demo

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Super GT/DTM 'inter-series' race plan back on after Motegi demo
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Nov 11, 2017, 11:31 AM

Bosses from the DTM and Super GT championships have suggested that a combined ‘inter-series’ race could be back on the cards, following a DTM demo at Motegi on Saturday.

Plans were announced two years ago for a pair of races that would allow DTM machinery to take on their Super GT counterparts, as part of a push towards a combined ‘Class 1’ ruleset as early as 2017.

However, the push to merge the two championships’ regulations appeared to stall, until Mercedes’ announcement of its impending withdrawal from DTM earlier this year led to renewed interest in forging an alliance with Super GT.

A demo run for Lexus and Nissan GT500 cars was held at the Hockenheim season finale last month as the first step towards the two series strengthening ties, and on Saturday three DTM cars joined a trio of Super GT machines in a second demo during the latter series’ final round at Motegi.

Loic Duval, Maro Engel and Augusto Farfus were the drivers selected to take part, representing Audi, Mercedes and BMW respectively, and were joined on track by Heikki Kovalainen (Lexus), Ronnie Quintarelli (Nissan) and Tomoki Nojiri (Honda).

As Honda didn’t make the trip to Hockenheim, the Motegi demo marked the first time that all six manufacturers shared the track (pictured above).

Super GT chairman Masaaki Bandoh suggested a combined race for the two championships could be again on the horizon on the back of the two demo runs, as work continues on establishing a joint set of regulations with DTM.

“It was a heartfelt moment to see the [Nissan] GT-R and [Lexus] LC500 lined up with three DTM cars on the track at Hockenheim,” said Bandoh in a press conference at Motegi.

“Today, six cars got together, and I got emotional again. I also felt that the distance between Europe, DTM, Super GT, and Japan got closer.

"Bringing these race cars together in front of the fans is a big step towards the inter-series race.”

ITR chairman Gerhard Berger added: “What I and chairman Bandoh are trying now is not simply to deepen our friendship, but to create a common set of regulations.

“If manufacturers from Japan and Germany built racing cars based on unified regulations, then the car can compete in either series, which would enhance the brand of the cars as well as reduce costs.

“We are hoping to realise an inter-series race as our final goal, so that we can provide a great satisfaction to both of our fans."

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Series Super GT
Author Jamie Klein