During a meeting with all 17 employees at the company’s headquarters in Munich on Wednesday, Berger announced that ITR would not organize the 2023 DTM season and that negotiations were underway to liquidate the business.
That doesn’t mean the DTM is over and Berger is still in talks with ADAC to bring the championship under its umbrella.
Former Formula 1 driver Berger said in a statement: “The talks with ADAC are very constructive, but there is still no final decision.”
“However, we need to clarify some things now as we have a corporate responsibility. We have decided that ITR will no longer advertise the DTM 2023.”
“Against the background of certain framework conditions and given the multitude of challenges, the economic risk for the next year is enormous.
“I personally feel very sad about it because the whole team worked hard for the success of the DTM.
“But even without ITR, there may be a future in ADAC for the DTM brand. So we are still in dialogue with ADAC.”
Photo: Alexander Trienitz
According to Autosport’s sister website Motorsport-Total.com, Berger had been looking for an investor in the DTM all year, taking full financial responsibility for running the series after Audi and BMW withdrew from parent company ITR after 2020.
It is believed that some parties have expressed interest but are not willing to invest if DTM does not commit to keeping an electrified series on its platform – something Berger cannot offer at this time.
ITR is working behind the scenes with partners Schaeffler and Mahle on the planned DTM Electric frame series, but the prototype is still in development and the first races are not expected until 2024 at the earliest.
The DTM Electric project is not exactly cheap, and the development of the car alone costs 15 million euros.
The war in Ukraine and the general downturn in the global economy also dampened investor confidence.
Why was the ADAC sale the only option left?
The manufacturers left five million euros from ITR when they withdrew a stake in DTM’s parent, but the company quickly burned its reserves as it raced under empty stands during the pandemic.
Unlike some other championships, DTM relies heavily on ticket sales to generate revenue alongside revenue from partners.
Theoretically, ITR could continue to run the DTM for another season in 2023, in hopes that progress in the DTM Electric support lineup will involve investors.
However, it was unpredictable at this time that the expected revenue would be enough to cover the cost of running the championship that would bankrupt ITR.
ADAC, on the other hand, has ample structure and financial resources to promote the DTM, while continuing to organize its current category, GT Masters.
While it’s not 100 percent certain that the DTM will take place in 2023, Berger seems confident about talks with ADAC and hopes the series will continue under the German club.
A potential takeover will be attractive to the few parties involved and ensure that there are no longer two competing series left in the competitive GT3 market. Both GT Masters and ADAC GT Masters could potentially compete over the same weekend if the takeover is complete, though details of their negotiations are not publicly available at this time.