The appearance of the Audi V8 quattro with Hans-Joachim Stuck and Walter Röhrl in the DTM 1990 are unforgettable - not only this performance shows that Audi has written history in Motorsport: 23 champion titles, eleven of them driver titles, 114 victories, 345 poidum positions, 106 pole positions and 112 fastest laps - an impressive balance sheet of a brand, whose commitment to modelcar manufacturers was and is of great importance: Minichamps and Spark have always looked with passion after the reduction of the racing cars of the DTM; mostly in scale 1:43, but also in format 1:18. And now it should be time to say goodbye? The corona crisis, but also the planned realignment of Audi concerning the motorsport is responsible for the decision. Is that also the end for the DTM itself?
Audi inspired the fans of the DTM from 1990 to 1992 as mentioned above with the Audi V8. In its first year, the big sedan directly won the title, which Audi was the first brand in 1991 to defend. Disputes over the crankshaft journal misalignment led to Audi withdrawing in 1992. From 2000 to 2003, Audi returned with the Abt private team, then again under its own name: the only manufacturer to have participated in all 20 years since the company was founded. And now the message of April 27th, 2020: "On its way to becoming a provider of carbon-neutral premium mobility, Audi is realigning the brand's motorsport program: Your commitment to the DTM touring car racing series will not extend beyond the 2020 season extend.” A decision that was also made against the background of the challenges posed by the corona pandemic.
Audi emphasized that the successful commitment in Formula E and in customer sport is going to be the focus of the motorsport activities: "Since the beginning of the popular pure electric racing series in 2014, the brand is represented in the Formula E. With 41 cups, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is the most successful Formula E team over the years.” And what will become of the DTM? From 1984 to 1996, the German Touring Car Championship was popular and successful as the successor to the DRM, which had become too expensive, before it too fell into the trap of its claims and costs. Opel sparked the idea with a study of an Astra with a V8 engine in 1998, which led to the German Touring Car Masters, today's DTM, in 2000. And with Audi retreating, this is about to end, since only BMW will be represented in the series.
So what can Gerhard Berger do as the responsible chair of the organizer, the rights holder and marketer ITR Internationale Tourenwagen Rennen e.V., now? It is hard to imagine that the DTM will become a BMW one-make cup. A solution would have to be found in cooperation with the Japanese Super GT series, the regulations of which were coordinated with those of the DTM: guest appearances of the vehicles from Lexus, Honda and Nissan at the 2019 season finale in Hockenheim and the return visit to Fuji also made motorsport history. If the Japanese brands are involved in the DTM, the fans should certainly be pleased. Otherwise, only the modelcars remain that are reminiscent of two great racing series. With the ADAC GT Masters, however, fans have a great alternative. Wonderful miniatures are also available for this.