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“The upper limit is reached at 30 cars”

The DTM starting field for the 2022 season is growing and growing: after the traditional series was saved for the first GT3 year last year, just 19 fixed starters were brought together, and interest in the traditional series is now significantly greater. “We’re currently at around 25 vehicles,” reveals DTM manager Frederic Elsner.

“The basis that we already have is significantly stronger than last year. The duty is done, now let’s see what we can still achieve in the freestyle”, the Austrian is confident that additional vehicles will be entered.

Even if Elsner says that there are currently “around five brands”, according to information from “Motorsport-Total.com” one can expect that at least cars from the manufacturers Mercedes-AMG, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche on will be start. McLaren and Aston Martin are question marks.

That’s how you get 25 cars

How many vehicles per manufacturer can be expected as a minimum number? There are seven cars at Mercedes-AMG, five at Audi, two at Ferrari, four at Lamborghini and three at Porsche. If you then add the four promised BMWs, you already have 25 cars.

But then there are still racing teams like the T3 Lamborghini team, which has not yet confirmed any vehicles. Or a possible third car at AF Corse or at Mercedes-AMG Team HRT. And so you would be relatively quickly at around 30 cars.

“When a three is in front, things start to get tight”

Speaking of which – is there actually a maximum number for the 2022 DTM grid? “Good question” answers DTM manager Elsner. “In theory, there is a limiting factor: These are the homologations of the routes that we have on the calendar.” He is alluding to the number of boxes, which is usually over 30. This also applies to the number of pit stop places.

“We’re not quite there yet where we want to think about a final limit of somewhere around 35,” says Elsner. That’s because the interested teams “have the right quality. And as long as we’re moving towards 30 in this area, we’re at a number that should be the upper limit for a championship like this.” As soon as a three is in front, it becomes “slowly tight”.

But what does that mean for potential guest starters, like those who competed in a few races last year? Elsner makes it clear that this year it will be more difficult to get one of the places. “The first thing you look at is: what kind of team and which driver is it? Does it make sense to allow it?” he explains.

It will be more difficult for guest starters in 2022

“We rejected a lot of guest entries last year because it just didn’t fit. Nevertheless, last year we were certainly more open to approving guest entries than we will be this year because we have a more solid package, more cars and also a stronger one in terms of quantity field together.”

Nevertheless, guest starts, such as Timo Scheider envisaged with the 10Q team, are also possible in 2022: “If the request fits, then we will accept guest starters again, but we will take a very close look at it.”

But are you also trying to get a broader spread of different brands into the DTM due to the great interest this year, after Mercedes-AMG made up more than a third of the field last year? “It’s a difficult subject,” says Elsner. “As a promoter, you try to get as many brands and high-quality vehicles and drivers as possible.”

Diversity also plays a role in potential rejection

For this purpose, the early bird registration was limited to 16 vehicles – and a maximum of four per brand. “It can turn out that there are four times four or eight brands a two cars,” said the DTM manager. Mercedes-AMG will be “strongly represented again” in 2022, but you can see “that other brands are catching up”.

Diversity also plays a role in the outstanding entries. “We’ll take a close look at whether they say the limit has been reached or whether one or the other car is still allowed,” announces Elsner.

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