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DTM threatens teams with stable orders with exclusion

With three sentences in the new regulations and the threat of exclusion in the event of a violation, the DTM umbrella organization ITR is trying to finally ban the 2022 stable order.

“We took a lot of time for these five or six lines,” says DTM manager Frederic Elsner, who is confident that exactly that will work out.

“We were aware of how blatant this topic is. And accordingly, to the best of our knowledge and belief, we put our heads together and tried to draft a passage that covers all possible scenarios. We think that we have succeeded and the topic should be done for the coming season.”

The team order was already banned in the DTM from 2008 to 2013 before the paragraph was removed from the regulations again because it was believed that it could not be monitored. So why are we now in good spirits that we have found an effective solution?

This also has to do with the fact that the maximum penalty, i.e. exclusion from the championship, is expected to have a deterrent effect. Elsner emphasizes that, in contrast to 2020, when the ban was introduced for one year, there is no explicit mention of a fine.

“We are talking about a maximum penalty,” said the Austrian. “And that is the exclusion from the championship – in other words: exclusion, zero points, issue settled. But there are all the possibilities for the stewards to react – and that includes fines.” But an exclusion is “more painful than a fine,” Elsner is convinced.

Former DTM champion Tomczyk sees opportunities to circumvent team orders

Ex-DTM champion Martin Tomczyk, who after retiring as a BMW works driver supports the DTM umbrella organization ITR not only as DTM Trophy Manager but also with his know-how as an ex-racing driver, is also behind the team order ban .

“It’s well known that team orders are a very sensitive subject because it’s really difficult to control,” he says. “That was also the case in my time. And you can also say quite frankly that there have always been some ways for the team and the drivers to circumvent or interpret paragraphs a little differently,” Tomczyk is aware of the problem.

Nevertheless, it is important that the paragraph was included in the regulations “so that we have the opportunity to punish it if it is obvious,” he argues.

In addition, Tomczyk is hoping for something from the new Californian DTM race manager Scott Elkins, who is influenced by US racing, in which stable orders are rarely used.

“Scott Elkins is totally with us on this issue and I believe he will also take very strong action,” said Tomczyk. “And find the right line with the stewards and the AvD, so that it quickly becomes clear for every team, every manufacturer and every driver.”

Violation is difficult to prove

A violation is “difficult to prove, but we’re hoping in this group – as we are now set up – that we can rule that out as far as possible,” says the 40-year-old Bavarian.

But how did the ITR approach the task of preventing such a sensitive and complex issue with a paragraph of regulations? “It was definitely difficult,” says DTM manager Elsner, who withdrew to a regulations workshop with his team in November. “Before you even start writing this paragraph, brainstorm it for three hours and write a few points on a white wall.”

These were all eventualities, such as stable orders can be carried out. “Using this whole mass of points, you then try to summarize everything as consistently and compactly as possible. And try to cushion everything that can somehow be possible.”

The trick was not to ignore anything. “Otherwise you might have the problem that you might not be able to punish it because you didn’t write down that one point,” explains Elsner.

What influence did DTM boss Gerhard Berger have? “We first think about how something like this can be done in our group, make suggestions – and then we coordinate it with our boss,” says Elsner. “He then says good or not good. That was found to be good. And so we walked this path together.”

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