The DTM has announced that it will implement a development freeze following the next round of the season – and into the 2010 campaign – in an effort to bring down costs and make it easy for other manufacturers to join the grid.
The freeze will come into play on 17 August and will mean that neither Audi nor Mercedes will be unable to modify a number of parts on the car – including aerodynamics and engines.
As well as for the remainder of the current season, the freeze will also be in force throughout the 2010 season as work continues to finalise new technical regulations which will come into force in 2011.
“With exciting races, the current season proves how well-balanced the DTM cars of the two manufacturers Audi and Mercedes-Benz are,” Hans Werner Aufrecht from series promoters ITR said. “Our handicap weight rule also allows for fascinating motorsport. I applaud the decision made together with the DMSB not to pursue any elaborate new developments for the year 2010 and compete with the current range of cars in the next season as well. That gives us planning stability for next year already now and sufficient time to develop new DTM regulations for 2011.”
Both Mercedes and Audi have also applauded the decision, which will look to make it easier for rival manufacturers to join the grid. The DTM has been a two manufacturer series since Opel withdrew from the sport.
“The manufacturers have pushed to come to this freezing of technology and achieved this in co-operation with the DMSB and the ITR,” Mercedes Benz motorsport chief Norbert Haug said. “The way in which Christian Schacht, secretary-general of the DMSB, DMSB chairman Torsten Johne and ITR chairman Hans Werner Aufrecht have committed themselves is exemplary. In the DTM, we are not talking about improvements, improvements are being implemented in the DTM. This one saves a great deal of money and continues to provide our customers, the spectators, with the best touring car racing at the highest level.”
“As new technical regulations are being envisaged for 2011 which are meant to make it easier for other car manufacturers to enter the DTM, freezing the technology for the 2010 season is an absolutely sensible way which helps to continue saving money in a significant way,” Audi's Wolfgang Ullrich said. “In this respect, the DTM has always been a trendsetter and is setting another important example in economically difficult times like these. DMSB, ITR, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have worked together in a constructive way to come to this solution, of which the fans benefit, too: they already know now that next year, the field will be just as closely together as this year, or perhaps even closer.”