GTA Co., Ltd. (GTA), series promoter for SUPER GT, and Internationale Tourenwagen-Rennen e.V. (ITR), organizers of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), have reached an agreement for unification of the basic technical regulations for SUPER GT Class I (GT500) and DTM effective from the 2014 season. Two organizations co-hosted a press conference on October 16th at a Tokyo hotel, and GTA Chairman Masaaki Bandoh and ITR President Hans Werner Aufrecht inked a contract.
Both leaders emphasized that the agreement between the two organizations means that cars abiding by the unified regulation can compete in the SUPER GT Class I (GT500) and DTM series races beginning from the 2014 season, thus contributing to the development of both competitions.
DTM is a top racing series in Europe inaugurated in 1984. 12 events were held in not only Germany but in five countries this season. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz compete in the series with 4-liter V8 engine, 2-door, rear-wheel drive touring car packages. Common parts are used in major components of vehicles including monocoque(car body structure), aerodynamics components such as wings, transmission, etc., contributing to the accomplishment of balanced performance of vehicles and cost reduction.
Masaaki Bandoh, GTA Chairman
"It was during the last round of the 2009 SUPER GT series at Twin Ring Motegi that GTA was approached by ITR, organizers of the DTM series, with the proposal of unifying the technical regulations of our two competitions. Since then, negotiations have proceeded and we have finally reached an agreement. I am very happy to announce this agreement here today."
"I hope that through this collaboration with ITR the engagement between automakers and motorsports in Japan will deepen as in Europe. I also believe that there are things we can learn from DTM in cost reduction as well as in developing manufacturing and other industries in Japan, which three domestic manufacturers are taking hands in. At the same time, I also feel that DTM can be influenced positively by the SUPER GT, where the many types of cars from various manufacturers participate and five tire makers compete, combine to bring it a level of diversity and excitement rarely found in competitions around the world."
"We believe that this collaboration will contribute greatly to the development of both the SUPER GT and DTM race series. We also think that deepening the relationship between DTM in Europe and SUPER GT in Asia toward the future may lead to new developments, such as organizing exchange races for both series, that will bring new excitement and enjoyment to fans around the world."
Hans Werner Aufrecht, ITR President
"It is a very special day for all of us and especially for motorsports. The right time and the right parties involved lead to this unique collaboration. It was a dream that has come true by this cooperation between GTA and ITR on the basis of the new technical regulations. Realizing this project would not have been possible without the support of the involved manufacturers Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan and Honda and the governing federations of DMSB and JAF."
"We believe that this milestone in motorsport history will not only help to reduce costs dramatically, but at the same time improve safety and create spectacular racing with equal chances for the manufacturers and teams and especially for the millions of fans around the world."
"Especially I would like to thank personally Mr. Bandoh and the GTA as well as the JAF for their efforts and support during the whole process. I am looking forward to the start of the 2014 season and the future possibilities to come for this powerful cooperation."
GTA Chairman Bandoh (center) and ITR President Aufrecht signed contracts.
Dr. Ulrich, Head of Audi Motorsport, gave a comment on behalf of invited guests from automobile manufacturers,
"It's a privilege to be involved in this revolutionary agreement as an automobile manufacturer."
GTA President Bandoh explained the overview of 2014 GT500 technical regulation.
Besides GTA and ITR, participating manufacturers of both series, Nissan (NISMO), Honda, Toyota, and Audi,
and members of JAF participated the press conference as invited guests.
Shoichi Miyatani, President of NISMO, (far left in back row) commented, "I, personally, am very excited of this agreement, and it is welcomed by Nissan/NISMO. I believe that this will drive even further the development of both series, making them more exciting that would attract many more fans."
Large number of media as well as automobile industry members both from domestic and abroad participated to the press conference.