The Italian BMW team Ceccato Racing of legend Roberto Ravaglia has to bury its DTM plans for 2022, but does not rule out an involvement in the traditional series in the future.
“We were very interested in entering the DTM with a car,” reveals Ravaglia, who acts as team manager for the northern Italian team, in an interview with “Motorsport-Total.com”.
“But BMW Italy gave us the opportunity to stay in Italy. In addition, we didn’t find enough sponsors to compete in the DTM,” he explains, explaining the reasons why the new M4 GT3 will be in the Italian GT Championship in 2022 after all will use.
But the DTM chapter is by no means over for Ravaglia, because the 64-year-old Italian, who won the DTM title in 1989 with the cult team Schnitzer, is making long-term plans for his former sporting homeland.
“Last year we competed in the DTM Trophy to see what’s going on in Germany,” he explains that when he entered a BMW M4 GT4 in the DTM junior series, he already had the main series in mind.
“Now I’m hoping for next year. We’ll try again then. Personally, I would really like to return to Germany to join my friends in the DTM, but for that everything has to come together because the budget is quite high.”
According to his calculations, the DTM is more expensive than the GT World Challenge Europe (GTWCE). “In the GT World Challenge you can split the budget between three drivers,” he explains. “There is only one driver in the DTM. And we’re talking about one million to 1.2 million euros. In the GT World Challenge it’s 700,000 to 800,000 euros,” he says, referring to the annual budget for a vehicle.
The team plans to compete in the 24-hour race in Spa
In addition to using an M4 GT3 in the Italian championship, which is to be delivered in February, they are now also planning to compete in the 24-hour classic at Spa-Francorchamps, which is part of the GTWCE. “We are currently looking for a budget for it,” confirms Ravaglia.
But the DTM would particularly appeal to the touring car legend. “I find the series very interesting and the races are good too,” says Ravaglia, who believes that the change to the GT3 regulations is the right way to go. “And the interest in Italy is now much greater than in previous years,” he notes, noting that the entry of the Ferrari team AF Corse last year had a positive effect in his home country.
Ravaglia, who hung up his helmet in 1997, now has two decades of experience as a motorsport manager under his belt. The first touring car world champion in history founded the Ravaglia team together with Aldo Preo in 2001, which was later renamed the ROAL team (the team name consists of the first letters of Ravaglia and Preo’s first names).
The team, which attracted attention above all in the WTCC and through the appearances with Alex Zanardi, was sold in 2018 to Gianfranco Ceccato – former rally driver and one of the largest BMW dealers in Italy. But Ravaglia has nothing to do with the sale of road cars: “I only take care of motorsport. That’s enough work,” he smiles.