BMW wants global regulations for DTM after Mercedes exit

BMW Motorsport
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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.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III