Augusto Farfus
Dtm 24
Dtm 24

German Touring Car Championship

The original DTM started in 1984 under the name Deutsche Produktionswagen Meisterschaft. The cars were built to FIA Group A rules, but over the years the cars were modified more and more. In 1993 the Group A rules were abandoned and the cars raced in a 2.5 liter engine class. The cars were now equipped with electronic aids such as ABS and traction control, and had four-wheel drive and a carbon chassis. This drove up production costs and in 1996 the DTM was forced to disband and move to the ITC.

The beginning of the new DTM

Starting in 1997, there was a lot of discussion about what the new DTM should look like. Opel wanted to cut costs, Mercedes-Benz just wanted to spend a lot of money, BMW did not see the point of a class focused only on Germany and Audi wanted to use their trademark quattro all-wheel drive. Finally, Opel and Mercedes-Benz agreed on what the cars should look like, they would be based on two-door models. BMW and Alfa Romeo did not return and Audi also did not want to participate if only rear-wheel drive would be used. However, Abt Sportsline would come out and use the Audi TT-R.

In 2000 the DTM was revived, this time with a different formula. They had learned from their mistakes and this time everything was done to make the cars spectacular but cheap to produce and maintain. ABS, traction control and four-wheel drive were once again banned. The cars now had 4.0-liter V8 engines and all cars had the same brakes and tires. There was a choice of a Hewland or X-Trac transmission.

Paffet Mercedes Zandvoort Straight Dust

Audi joins, Opel leaves

In 2004, the cars changed, this time with sedans instead of coupes. Audi officially entered the DTM with the Audi A4, while Mercedes entered the C-Class and Opel entered the Vectra. There was a setback at the end of 2005, when Opel pulled out due to cutbacks at General Motors. The gap seemed to be filled by Rover, but they went bankrupt. Audi and Mercedes went on together. There were plans for Alfa Romeo to compete in the 2007 season, which started later to give them extra time to develop a car, but this ultimately did not materialize. The following years were dominated by Audi, it wasn’t until 2010 that Mercedes won again.

Dtm Molina Audi Zandvoort Tarzan
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BMW returns

The 2012 season saw a big change. The cars returned to coupe form and BMW returned to the DTM after a 20-year drought. It would compete against the Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz C Coupe in the BMW M3 Coupe. Success was immediate as Bruno Spengler drove BMW to victory. The following year, Audi switched to the RS5 DTM, which won the championship with Mike Rockenfeller at the wheel. The 2014 season saw another new car, the BMW M4 DTM, which also won in its debut year.

DTM GT Plus Regulations

The 2021 DTM season was the 22nd season of the German Touring Car Masters, following the resumption of the championship in 2000. René Rast was the defending champion among the drivers, but will not return due to his move to Formula E.

The championship will be run under GT Plus regulations this year after both Audi and BMW left the class as constructors. As a result, there are no more factory teams, only privateers, in an attempt to attract more manufacturers. Tires will also be supplied by Michelin from this season, having been supplied by Hankook until 2020. Rolling starts will also be introduced for the first time since 2001.