We've been hearing whispers of DTM racing somehow linked to Grand-Am all season but official word has finally come through and that news is much better than we'd hoped. According to SPEED, a 12-race US-based DTM championship will begin in the 2013 season. The series is reported to be a support show for Grand-Am and even NASCAR racing events which is most interesting indeed.
Perhaps some things are coming together. Red Bull Racing has been an important participant in both series for years and Audi/Red Bull star Mattias Ekstrom even jumped over to NASCAR for two races this season.
"Internationalisation has been our goal, in order to ensure that cars to DTM regulations can be used in more countries all over the world. We have had very constructive talks with the GRAND-AM organisation and we are very excited with this new partnership," said Hans Werner Aufrecht, chairman of ITR.
In many regards NASCAR and DTM are much alike. While the cars are not similar at all, the two are both series with cars modeled on popular sedans in the market by major manufacturers that boast huge audiences in their home markets but suffer from of a lack of interest outside of their respective homelands.
This news comes just days after BMW confirmed it would join the series in 2012. For 2011 at least, the series looks to remain solely a two-marque competition between Audi and Mercedes.
How would a US series change things? It is natural to expect American-based teams most obviously American teams fielding cars from marques already in the series. With standardized rules across multiple markets it is natural to expect further manufacturer participation especially by those looking to improve their presence in the lucrative American and German marketplaces. Could GM develop an a DTM car for its Opel Insignia and Buick Regal twin? Would Lexus or Infiniti, entrenched in the USA and working on European distribution, see the series as a similarly attractive outlet?
We're hoping more manufacturers jump into the series and, of course, that Audi chooses to remain. DTM has been a staple in our own motorsport focus and seeing that widen to more than just a contest with Mercedes would be a boon. Likely, access to NASCAR enthusiasts would help companies like Audi offset investment in their programs.
Read more after the jump.
AutoWeek.com - Analysis: DTM series to join Grand-Am in the U.S.?