Gerhard Berger explains his decision to sell DTM to ADAC

Last Friday, it was announced that ADAC has acquired the branding rights of the DTM and will be the organizer of the championship from 2023.

This followed after Berger dissolved DTM’s sole proprietorship, ITR, amid uncertainty about generating enough revenue to cover its costs next year.

Berger has gone unnoticed for the past few weeks as he negotiated a deal with ADAC, which runs the GT Masters series, which is also working on the GT3 formula.

However, the Austrian driver gave his first interview since’s sale to sister company, where he covered a wide range of topics related to the DTM and the future of the series.

Berger explained that ITR was “handling better than expected” under the “special challenge” posed by the pandemic, and denied suggestions that it had no money to continue.

“There was no money lost,” he said. “The past years have gone according to plan or better than expected. You can only predict the future.

“So it’s impossible to predict in advance how much money will be lost. But I can say this: As an entrepreneur, I looked ahead responsibly and took the necessary precautions.”

However, Berger said that “an additional hurdle has been added to budgeting” for 2023, as the DTM Electric series under development is now “in the focus of discussion”. sustainability is increasingly “a necessary condition for many companies to join the DTM”.

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DTM Electric

Photo: Alexander Trienitz

“Connection with this project was a prerequisite for getting the full sponsorship budget,” Berger said.

“At the same time, financing for DTM Electric turned out to be more difficult than expected. As a result, this meant that the economic risk for 2023 was huge.

“The focus of the investor talks was DTM Electric, which we are about to prototype. We had several meetings with international interested parties.

“We’ve come a long way with Varta, in addition to Schaeffler and Mahle as battery partners, among others. However, we were rejected there in the end.”

Berger believes the DTM is “in the right hands with ADAC in the long run” and that extensive motorsport experience in the German-speaking region is “the decisive advantage that speaks in favor of an ADAC”.

“ADAC not only has the experience, but also the built-in, functioning structures and know-how in motorsport to make the most of the synergies.”

“As far as I know, there were talks with ADAC before me. [Berger was DTM boss from 2017 to 2022]. But a conclusion has only now been reached.

“The consequences of the almost two and a half year pandemic and the overall economic situation have made the need to capitalize on synergies even clearer. That’s why other people are sitting at the negotiating table right now.

Gerhard Berger, President of ITR

Gerhard Berger, President of ITR

Photo: Alexander Trienitz

“There are also repeated requests from partners, sponsors, teams and manufacturers to join forces and engage in dialogue with ADAC to create a single point of contact.”

Berger, ADAC’s “It refused to take over the ITR during the negotiations because it had its own staff and structures”.

DTM Electric, he added, “is not part of the transfer of trademark rights to ADAC”.

Therefore, we will sit down with our partners over the next few weeks to discuss the next steps.”

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