After 16 of 18 DTM races, BMW works driver Marco Wittmann (GER) nonetheless has a mathematical likelihood of successful the title. Within the Group and Producer competitions, first place is already out of attain. In an interview, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt analyses the explanations behind the tough 2017 season and explains how BMW envisages the way forward for the DTM.
Mr. Marquardt, the 2017 DTM season attracts to a detailed this weekend. How would you sum it up, from a sporting standpoint?
Jens Marquardt: “Since we returned to the DTM in 2012, we’ve got received not less than one title yearly. Going into the ultimate two races at Hockenheim, there may be nonetheless a mathematical likelihood that Marco Wittmann can win the Drivers’ Championship. Whereas that likelihood nonetheless exists, we are going to give it our absolute all and, as at all times, battle proper right down to the ultimate lap.”
Why has the opposition come out on high this 12 months?
Marquardt: “In making an attempt to find the causes, we are able to pinpoint two main components. On the one hand, there have been our personal errors: we can not lose 25 factors as a consequence of half a litre of gasoline – as was the case in Zandvoort. If that had not occurred, the Drivers’ Championship would have a unique look to it. However, we’ve got seen the true stability of energy within the 2017 DTM, with out efficiency weights, in current races. This has revealed a elementary drawback that the DTM has with its two-year homologation cycle. If disparities come up, and corrective components like efficiency weights don’t come into play, this can’t be within the curiosity of the followers.”
How can that sort of factor be prevented sooner or later?
Marquardt: “There are finally three choices. Firstly, efficiency weights could possibly be thought-about as a way of balancing issues out. Nonetheless, we rightly determined to not go down that path sooner or later, within the curiosity of the game. One other situation is that the opposite two producers improve their useful resource enter to shut the hole to the opposition. The consequence of this sort of state of affairs is a technical arms race, as we’ve got seen in Formulation 1 and the LMP1 class. Nonetheless, that is out of the query within the DTM – that’s we’ve got agreed on lengthy homologation cycles. The third method covers the standardisation of elements in areas which are each seen and indistinguishable to the followers, and the discount of aerodynamic parts. This has a variety of constructive results, together with the truth that it will enhance the racing, because the vehicles could be much less delicate from an aerodynamic standpoint. It might additionally scale back prices.”
Which methodology do you favor?
Marquardt: “BMW’s place is certainly behind the third method. It additionally represents our imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the DTM. The position of the collection can’t be as a substitute for LMP1 for a producer. An arms race merely must be prevented – and, because it stands, that largely takes place within the subject of aerodynamics. A very powerful promoting level of the DTM must be the truth that it permits spectacular, shut racing between all of the producers concerned, wherein the main focus is on the driving force. The motive force’s efficiency ought to finally be the deciding issue. The DTM must be all about spectacular racing between the very best touring automotive drivers on the planet – not an costly competitors between engineers. For this to be the case, it’s important to considerably scale back aerodynamics. It might not be doable to break the system by, for instance, utilizing sources that have been freed up in different racing collection. It is because of this that we’ve got been in favour of the so-called Berger proposal proper from the phrase go – and we’re happy to see the others following us on this regard.”
With situations like this in place, how is it doable for a producer to display its core areas of experience?
Marquardt: “If we run engines with turbo expertise within the DTM, carry out the very best pit stops, discover the very best set-up and, on the similar time, scale back the complexity of the vehicles in a approach that’s nearly indistinguishable to the followers, then everyone seems to be a winner ultimately – significantly the spectators. And that finally must be what it’s all about: What do the followers need to see, and what do they not need to see? We’re satisfied that the followers are under no circumstances bothered concerning the fractions of a second gained by way of aerodynamics. They need to see spectacular motorsport and, ideally, to see their favorite driver or favorite producer win. So far as the followers are involved, the heroes are sat within the cockpit, not at laptops.”
What position can the DTM play inside the BMW Group sooner or later? How will it examine to different race collection?
Marquardt: “We’re excellently positioned at BMW. We need to use the DTM to supply spectacular, high-quality, driver-oriented dash races, wherein the very best touring automotive drivers on the planet go head-to-head. We’re demonstrating the corporate’s innovation in essentially the most demanding GT racing collection on the planet with the BMW M8 GTE. We use Formulation E because the expertise lab for creating future BMW iNEXT fashions and to display our innovation and integration expertise within the subject of electromobility out on the monitor. We’re additionally very near the manufacturing facet of issues with our buyer racing programme. The range of our portfolio is exclusive. Each dedication fulfils a really particular perform, with its personal particular aims.”
Do you consider in the way forward for the DTM?
Marquardt: “The introduced withdrawal of Mercedes clearly poses some massive challenges for the DTM. Nonetheless, if you look across the paddock you turn into conscious of the complete dimension of the DTM – with all of the suppliers and companions, the numerous followers within the grandstands and watching on tv – and its significance on the worldwide racing scene. We joined the DTM in 2012 as a result of we consider on this collection. Who is aware of whether or not there would nonetheless be a DTM at this time with out this transfer. We should now battle for its survival – and that’s exactly what we’re doing. The approaching months will certainly be very thrilling.”