• Aug 19, 2010
In an attempt to reduce costs and get more brands into the field, it's beginning to look like as many as three different race series in Europe, Asia and the United States may adopt a more-or-less common set of rules. The German Touring Car Championship (shown above) is set to introduced a new rules package for the 2012 season and the Japanese SuperGT series looks to be on-board for its GT500 class. Here in the States,. the NASCAR-owned Grand Am series is also considering jumping in, presumably to replace the current GT class.

The proposals being considered by the DTM organizers clearly show some NASCAR influence, although with more modern technology. A common carbon-fiber chassis could be mandated with an agreed-upon wheelbase and overhangs for all cars. DTM is considering "Introduction of "design line" where on one side all cars are common" which sounds an awful lot like NASCAR's dreaded common templates. Along with the V8 powerplants, hybrid kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) could be part of the picture. The goal is to cut the cost of these cars in half from current levels.

If the new rules are adopted by all three groups, it could result in cross-pollination of cars between the series with Lexus, Nissan and Honda joining Audi and Mercedes-Benz in DTM and possibly the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro mixing it up with the Germans and Japanese.

[Sources: RaceCar Engineering, Touring Car Times, DTM | Image: Bongarts/Getty]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      As always has been the case, spec racing is poor racing. I highly doubt they will maintain any interest in their series if they go this route. Most Americans may be fine watching the exact same cars race around, but the rest of the world's audiences won't take that well. And of course those of us in America that like real racing won't either. I'm okay with not watching them if it's boring. I was a huge WRC nut until it became a Citroen/Ford spec race. Now I never watch it.

      I just don't get why manufacturers haven't stepped in more verbally to defend against these kind of changes. I get they are interested in saving money too, but surely they recognize no one will buy their cars for their racing performance and history if all their new racing becomes spec based.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @speed addict -

        Most of the series, however, don't run the exact same chassis and motor (unless, of course, they are teams running the exact same car). Regulating type of modification, chassis tuning, etc is fine. It's still not the same as making everyone run the exact same chassis and engine across the field.
        • 4 Years Ago
        what racing besides the continental tire series do you watch that issnt spec racing, because every racing series pretty much is that, i mean, they dont use street production parts anymore you know.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The LMP1/2 and GT2 classes in the ALMS are pretty spectacular.

        The GT500 class is becoming more and more regulated, but they are still fantastic machines that IMO, look sensational, DTM a bit less so. My question is how they plan to marry a GT class with a touring class. Sure, they're the least relevant, fastest and highest-tech examples of their respective categories with similar performance, but the thought of a GT-R losing to an A4 seems weird to me.

        I think the ACO could pull a significant coup by replacing the now-defunct GT1 category with a DTM/GT500 based GTP class that would utilize the 3.4L 2011+ LMP1/FNippon/GT500 engine to run at Le Mans and all other ACO sanctioned races.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey Bruxell, Tube frames [or spec chassis] have been sports car racing for years. Dont you remember the heyday of IMSA in the 80's? The GTO class the sheet meta[carbon fiber hadn't been brought in to racing then] was the only similer to stock item on the cars. Trans-Am has been the same for many years in several of its many lives and reinventions. And for those in favor of the 'Vettes remember its just a Chevy engine in a Pratt and Miller chassis.
      As for the DTM and GT carsbeing faster then Daytona Prototypes Grand-Am brought them in in 2001 with the promise that they'ed be good for ten years Time is almost up and the idea that prototype racing HAS to be the main draw is "Purist " thinking that is destroying the ALMS series here in the states. And Grand-Am is looking for alternatives for a class that basically even the factories cannot afford any more and ALMS is trying to replace with its LMPC cars that are all spec cars.Who is the person who said the head class of racing has to be Expensive unrealistic protos that to the average person has no relationship to what they will see in the sales lot of that manufactuer?Did he,she or it survive beyond the twentieth century? This is the twentyfirst century and if anything is unwilling or unable to adapt or change its gone. Please dont condem sports car racing to a fate similar to the dodo.
      As for stock racing may I heartily recommend Grand-Ams Contiental tire series [I've been lucky enough to obseve them 3 times this year] and SCCA?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is absolutely awful. We do not want all the cars to be the same. This is not Nascar where people don't care about the cars so much as the drama and the drivers. Please keep the cars as close to production vehicles to keep it relevant.

      Is there a petition to sign to make this not go through? I would be willing to sign it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's a petition of sorts - simply stop watching identical cars with different stickers.

        At this rate, why not create a set of Benz stickers and put them on a Nascrap shell?

        Or a set of Dodge stickers for WRC?

        And a set of Chevy stickers for DTM?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why not use ACO GT2 specs? That would be more fun, plus allow Corvette Racing to run the 24 hours of Daytona again.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @hashiryu
        I'm not sure how that's relevant.

        GT500 would use the GT2 specs, and GT300 would obviously use the GT3 spec. If you've watched any of the Le Mans or FIA GT series you know the cars are separated pretty well, and the GT3 cars are below the GT1/2 cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @hashiryu: I couldn't disagree more. All three series have been basically spec-series for years. Super GT and DTM use spec chassis, and DTM uses a spec engine. The only reason they're the fastest Touring Car series out there is because they're neutered versions of their foremer selves.

      As for Grand Am, the Daytona Prototype class has essentially been a spec series designed to look like the old GTP class, since its inseption. It's right up NASCAR's alley to turn the GT class into the same thing. Honestly, they should just change the meaning of the S in NASCAR from Stock to Spec.

      And I couldn't care less how close the racing is if it's synthesized via ever changing rules designed to ensure "competitivness." The IRl headed down this road years ago, and look what's happened.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hashiryu: I disagree with the idea that the racing is awesome. It's contrived, and misleading. It may be close, and there may be lots of pointless overtaking, but it's not because of anything the drivers or cars are capable of. The weight penalty alone is enough for me to hate Super GT. Oh, and I have no doubt that the Super GT cars are faster than Daytona Prototypes, which also suck.

        Stop thinking that I'm comparing any of these series to F1 in its current form. I haven't watched a Grand Prix since the rev-limit was imposed. F1 is under real threat of losing all its high-tech clout. Spec ECUs have no place in Grands Prix. WRC has disappeared down the same rabbit hole. And don't even get me started on the ACO and their diesel favoring rules...

        Current racing is in real trouble due mainly to fans mistaking contrived overtaking spectacle for real competition. Teams are allowed to compete only on even footing that discourages competition in favor of the misnomer of "competitiveness," which shouldn't even be a word. Super GT, DTM, and Trans Am in the US are just three series that are, more and more, falling into the NASCAR trap of constantly working to ensure close racing, at the expense of pure competition.

        That, in short, is what I disagree with.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What do you disagree with? The racing is awesome. Have you ever saw a Super GT or DTM race? I'm not the biggest fan of the weight penalties, but it works in this instance. Super GT has been going on for well over a decade and only getting bigger. They don't change the rules, they pay a penalty. It applies to everyone on the field. 20x more constant than, I don't know, maybe F1 for example?

        Anyway, first of all, they only use a Chassis TUB (which in Super GT's case is NOT spec). Secondly, saying DTM uses spec engines is like saying F1 uses spec engines. They have to conform to a rule set, they are NOT the same.

        As for the US end, don't get too much wind in your sails, GrandAm and by extension NASCAR is just along for the ride. Autoblog's story is inaccurate, and does not even coincide with what was reported on the RaceCar Engineering site. They can do whatever they want, It won't affect DTM and even less so Super GT. I can't even grasp why they are interested, they will have to totally revamp the DPs because mark my words, the GT500 cars are faster. In fact, the GT300 mooncraft Shiden is a rebranded Riley prototype, and gets beaten regularly by other GT300 cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      first off, I love all motorsports, u name it i watch it. I think they need to step back and look at what they are doing. They are about to take on a plan that NASCAR has adopted in the late 1990's and furthered it in 2007. Do they not realize that this way of thinking to keep costs down has completely backfired and single handedly ruined the most popular motorsport in America (regardless of what you think of it, boring or not) and what was the second most popular sport of all, behind football. In NASCAR the whole keep costs down idea does not work, the teams are spending the same, if not more that before. I think if you want to get into motorsports you need to be aware of the extreme cost that comes with it. You cant have non-expensive motorsport
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why!? I can understand putting a cap on cost and development budgets but to start implimenting rules that will slowly bring this to a Spec Series I fully believe will kill each series. If I wanted NASCAR style rules in terms of cars and chassis's I'd watch NASCAR. Again if they wish to curb cost's impliment a budget cap on development and such. I love watching these cars battle it out on the road course to show/prove which one is better (yes I know the driver has ALOT to do with it).

      The only good Spec racing is that of feeder series where those what wish to say drive a Porsche drive them in hopes of becoming a offical driver.
      • 4 Years Ago
      huuuuuuuuuu only one month ago the german car magazine sportauto published a interview with the maker of the DTM and the japanese Super GT that they have dropped all plans to work on one rulebook for booth series..

      news from 20.June 2010

      Masaaki Bandoh chief of the japanese Auper GT race series has confirmed that there will be no rule book together with the DTM in the next years, he claimed that the Super GT already has worked a new rule book for the 2011 seasons. the next rule change is planed for 2015!
      Till June 2010 there were no serious talks between DTM and Super GT to set corner points of one rule book for both series... most of the internet news are wild speculations!!!

      the whole thing started moving because BMW wanted to join the DTM with a race car based on their GT2 M3 but they wanted to raceit world wide and not in europe only..
      The differents between the dTM and SUper GT are currently much to big...and the Super GT allows things never allowed in the DTM... example if a producer has no car able to competition with the other they simple change the rule and allow him to race what ever he like...example Honda with the HSV Prototype...
      The other thing that speaks against one rule book is that many cars racing in the Super GT are japanese sold cars only and the japanese car maker se no benefit in racing with them all around the wolrd or to face DTM car competition on their home market..

      http://www.sportauto-online.de/motorsport/japanische-gt-meisterschaft-super-gt-keine-schnelle-reglement-einigung-mit-dtm-in-sicht-1901338.html
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bruxall said it all, with the first post. I salute you, sir!

      NASCRAP's march to world domination...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The real question becomes, "Can anyone still care, now that all three have been technically neutered from their former glory?" All three of these series used to sport actual production based machinery that was tuned to the absolute maximum. Now their all spec-car series... Give a rat's ass? I cannot, sir!
        • 4 Years Ago
        They aren't going to be spec. What they are doing is homogenizing the rules for the three to be able to give manufacturers the ability to compete in the three (and sell to privateers) at a reduced cost. I'm not for spec racing at all, but this report is inaccurate.

        I've been following this development for months, and DTM and Super GT were the ones originally behind this.

        Super GT had already homolgated their engines to be the same as the Formula Nippon Racing engines, because they were also already compatible to used with 2011 and beyond LeMans rules. Super GT already uses carbon tubs as well as DTM, and this is pretty much all that will be spec. BMW refused to build a car that can only be run in one series, and they are right. Impossible to do in the current economic conditions. Good looking out for the future too. The cars are not fully production based anymore because they are the FASTEST gt cars out there. Screw that they aren't production based. This isn't NASCAR with different stickers. The cars are very different, highly engineered and have closely guarded secrets. And the racing, is GREAT. And that is THE most important thing. F1 it is not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly. The point of all of these series was that the cars were originally production-based. Once they become "spec", why bother?
      • 4 Years Ago
      GTFO
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