BMW Motorsport

BMW wants global regulations for DTM after Mercedes exit

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BMW head of motorsport Jens Marquardt would like to see DTM adopt global, standardized regulations in a bid to lure more manufacturers to the series following Mercedes’ exit.

Mercedes announced in July it would be closing its DTM program at the end of the 2018 season in order to switch focus to Formula E.

DTM has operated as one of Europe’s leading touring car series for some time, producing F1 drivers such as Paul di Resta, Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein, but faces an uncertain future with only BMW and Audi now involved.

Marquardt stressed BMW’s commitment to DTM, but would like to see the series take on global regulations that could bring it in line with Japan’s Super GT series, offering manufacturers the chance to enter multiple championships with greater ease.

“After the announcement that Mercedes-Benz is going to leave the DTM at the end of 2018, we promised the fans that we would fight for the future of the DTM. We are working hard to do just that,” Marquardt said.

“We are involved in intensive discussions with ITR chairman Gerhard Berger and with manufacturers to develop a viable concept for the future, retain the DTM as an attractive and innovative platform and continue to provide fans with exciting motorsport in a top-level competitive environment.

“We support the introduction of the so-called Class One regulations and are prepared to equip DTM cars with extremely highly efficient and more powerful four-cylinder turbo engines and reduced aerodynamics.

“This would open the door for standardized, global regulations and allow the DTM to drive on the same technical foundation as the cars in the Japanese Super GT Championship, for example.

“This concept would secure the future of the DTM, open it up internationally, and make the whole platform more attractive.

“We would welcome it if other manufacturers followed and would also commit to the DTM.”

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”