What the DTM driver field for the 2022 season looks like as things stand and what criteria are used to potentially reject entries
The DTM grid for the 2022 season is growing and growing: after just 19 fixed starters for the first GT3 year after the rescue of the traditional series last year, the interest in the traditional series is now much greater. “We currently have around 25 cars”, reveals DTM manager frederic elsner.
“The base we already have is much stronger than last year. We”ve done our duty, now let”s see what we can pull together in the free skate”, The Austrian is confident that additional cars will be entered.
Even if elsner says that the current number is “around five brands”, according to information from ‘motorsport-total.Com’ expects that at least cars from mercedes-AMG, audi, BMW, ferrari, lamborghini and porsche will be on the grid. Mclaren and aston martin are considered question marks.
This is how you get to 25 cars
What is the minimum number of cars per manufacturer?? Seven cars for mercedes-AMG, five for audi, two for ferrari, four for lamborghini and three for porsche. If you then add the four promised BMWs, you’re already up to 25 cars.
But then there are still missing racing teams like the T3-lamborghini-team, which has not confirmed any cars yet. Or a possible third car at AF corse or at the mercedes-AMG team HRT. And that would bring the number of bolides up to around 30 relatively quickly.
“When there”s a three at the front, it”s getting tight”
Speaking of which – is there actually a maximum number for the 2022 DTM grid?? “Good question” answers DTM manager elsner. “In theory, there is one limiting factor: the homologations of the tracks that we have on the calendar.” he is alluding to the number of boxes, which is usually over 30. This also applies to the number of pit stop places.
“We have not yet reached the point where we want to think about a final limit, which is somewhere around 35”, says elsner. The reason for this is that the interested teams “also have the right quality,” he explains. And as long as we move in this range towards 30, we are at a number that should be the upper limit for such a championship.” as soon as there”s a three at the front, it”s “starting to get tight”.
But what does that mean for potential guest starters, as they were at the start of some races last year?? Elsner makes clear that it will be more difficult to get one of the places this year. "The first thing you look at is: what kind of team and what kind of driver are we talking about?? Does it make sense to allow it?", he explains.
For guest starters it will be more difficult in 2022
"We turned down a lot of guest starters last year because it just wasn’t a good fit. Nevertheless, we were certainly more open last year to allowing guest entries than we will be this year, because we have a more solid package, more cars and also a quantitatively stronger field."
Nevertheless, guest starters, such as those envisaged by timo scheider with the 10Q team, are also possible in 2022: "If the request is right, we will accept guest starters again, but we will take a very close look at it."
But this year, due to the great interest, they are also trying to bring a broader spread of different brands into the DTM, after Mercedes-AMG made up more than a third of the field last year? "That’s a difficult subject, says elsner. "As a promoter, you try to get as many brands and high-quality vehicles and drivers as you possibly can."
Diversity also plays a role in potential rejection
To this end, the early-bird registration was limited to 16 vehicles – and a maximum of four per brand. "That can turn out to be four times four or eight brands a two cars", according to the DTM manager. Mercedes-AMG will again be "strongly represented" in 2022, but "you can see that other brands are catching up".
Diversity also plays a role in the still outstanding nominations. "We will take a close look at whether we should say that the limit has been reached or whether we should still allow one or two cars to be built, announces elsner.