The 2014 DTM calendar will feature a race in China after promoter ITR eV and the Chinese Brilliant Culture Group agreed terms for a city centre event next season.
The race will take place in the autumn of 2014, at a venue yet to be decided, but, unlike 2010, will not be the final round of the season. At present, two potential hosts are under consideration – Shanghai and Guangdong - with a decision expected to be taken 'at a later stage'.
“We are delighted that we are allowed to be guests with the DTM in China for the third time,” ITR board chairman Hans Werner Aufrecht commented, “The Chinese passenger car market is among the fastest growing in the world and therefore is very important for our manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
“Moreover, we see the commitment and the passion with which our Chinese partners are pushing for this project and, as a result, we feel very good [about being] in China. No matter what the decision about the venue will be, we will be racing in one of the biggest cities in the world.”
The DTM has already raced twice in China, in 2004 and 2010, with both events being staged in Shanghai. Gary Paffett, for one, will be hoping for a return to the largest city in the country, having won there on both previous visits. In 2004, the Briton won an invitation race, finishing ahead of fellow Mercedes driver Bernd Schneider and Audi's Mattias Ekström, while, in 2010, he beat Audi's Timo Scheider into second place, thereby assisting Mercedes team-mate Paul di Resta in his bid to secure the DTM title. BMW did not participate in either previous race.
“China is ready for DTM's return,” Maggie Ip, chairman of Brilliant Culture Group, insisted, “We are now the largest car market in the world and the Chinese fans of Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz are looking forward to seeing their favourite manufacturers race here. The DTM will no doubt help grow motorsports culture in China.”