Last week, ADAC announced how it will overhaul the sports car racing scene in Germany by acquiring the brand rights and promotion of the DTM from its previous owner, ITR.
While the announcement eases all concerns about the future of the DTM by preserving the championship’s single-driver sprint race format, there are potential ramifications for ADAC’s former flagship series, the GT Masters.
Essentially, GT Masters is expected to share the grille with LMP3 cars from the Germany Prototype Cup lineup as part of what is labeled DTM Endurance and will no longer be the main attraction of the show.
The bill of support for the DTM will include six to seven rounds, leaving limited room for standalone events, and again to prioritize the fully professional DTM series, platinum drivers will not be allowed to enter the GT Masters competition.
The GT Masters was the premier sports car racing championship in Germany until the DTM’s transition to GT3 regulations in 2021, and the old series has already suffered from declining participation in recent years.
Several team bosses who regularly compete at the GT Masters think that the recently announced changes to the German GT3 environment may make the situation worse, and are wondering if it is financially feasible to continue their participation in the series.
“For me, he is completely doomed. I don’t see five GT3 cars there,” said Fabian Plentz of Rutronic Racing.
“I don’t have a TV. I’m not in the box, I’m somewhere in the tent. Officially the second option.
Teams from the series formerly known as ADAC GT Masters believe the championship will suffer as a second tier in the remastered structure
Photo: Alexander Trienitz
“which is mine [pit]box and distinctly opposite hospitality [to it]. Who knows where I stand in the paddock now, then I will establish my hospitality there. What does this look like?
“Then my guests were like, ‘What’s going on here now?’ he asks. But then the same cars as mine go into the pits.”
ZVO team principal Philipp Zakowsk added in an interview with Autosport’s sister site Motorsport-Total.com: “For me, ADAC GT Masters is more or less embedded in this form and as we know it.
“Even if the costs do not increase, they will certainly be at least the same. If you want to do it successfully, the cost of getting a car at GT Masters is around 700,000 Euros.
“There is no longer a case for a sponsor in the future. You are now a series of frames and drive behind LMP3 cars.”
Christian Land of Audi team Land-Motorsport was equally dissatisfied with the changes and added in a statement: “The concept presented is a disappointment to me. We really feel humiliated.
“This is a step backwards for German motorsport – the ADAC GT Masters was a top professional series, now it’s happening somewhere on the sidelines.”
But not everyone is pessimistic about the changes announced by ADAC. HRT CEO Ulrich Fritz believes the formation of DTM Endurance will allow the championship, now known as GT Masters, to differentiate itself from other SRO championships running the GT3 ruleset and increase amateur drivers’ participation.
“You have a very similar performance to the GT World Challenge Sprint, you have many regional sprint categories in different countries, even in Germany you have the GTC and then you have the GT Open,” Fritz told Motorsport.com.
Fritz believes GT Masters is very similar to other current offerings in Europe, such as the GT World Challenge Sprint Cup
“I don’t think there’s enough separation from ADAC GT Masters to these other categories and so I think they’ve had a bit of trouble with the competitors in recent years. For me it wasn’t because of the DTM.
“So it’s good to see that everything is clearer now and they can focus on their core business again.
“Honestly, if you’re an amateur driver or a salaried driver, it was tough at GT Masters last year because there are full professional rosters and you’re losing there.”
Stefan Mucke of Mucke Motorsport also supported behind the refresh, explaining how the rebranded DTM Endurance series could offer a stepping stone for aspiring drivers seeking careers in both GT cars and prototype racing.
“The DTM Endurance platform, which consists of GT Masters and LMP3 cars, could be a good intermediate step for young drivers coming to GT4 when they grow up,” he told Autosport.
“I think it’s a pretty good platform for youngsters in GT4 to take the next step after GT4, they can jump into it and then decide whether they want to race in a DTM-prepared GT3 car or in international GT races.” LMP car.
“LMP3 is more of a durability direction and this is of interest to young drivers who are on their way to having a platform between GT4 and DTM or WEC, Le Mans Series in the German market.”