On Saturday morning, GT Association (GTA) chairman Masaaki Bandoh and ITR chairman Gerhard Berger, the heads of the Autobacs Super GT Series and Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) respectively, held a press conference confirming the race format of the much-anticipated exhibition match race between Super GT’s GT500 class and DTM.
The Super GT x DTM Dream Race at Fuji Speedway will be held from November 22nd to 24th, and after months of speculation, we now know for sure the details of the “Dream Race”.
There will be two races of equal length on Saturday and Sunday, adopting the DTM format of a 55-minute race plus one lap. During each race, there will be one mandatory four-tyre pit stop, without refuelling or driver changes. The DTM’s exclusive tyre suppliers Hankook will supply all teams with their “Ventus Race” control tyres.
However, unlike the DTM, there will be no Drag Reduction System (DRS) or push-to-pass systems available during the “Dream Race”.
The teams and drivers who will represent Super GT and DTM will be announced at a later date, with Berger remarking that DTM will expect to send between six to ten teams from Europe. It is expected that all six manufacturers will take part across both sides – Nissan, Honda, and Lexus from Super GT; Audi, BMW, and Aston Martin from DTM.
Saturday’s press conference also saw the announcement of the auto sport Web Sprint Cup, a support race featuring select teams from the GT300 class of Super GT – with a format that will be announced during a follow-up press conference on Sunday.
Also in attendance were Kiomi Kobayashi, representing Japan’s largest auto parts retailer Autobacs, and Shinji Takei, gentleman racer and owner of Best Heritage Japan (BHJ) which operates BH Auction.
Autobacs will extend their 22-year partnership with Super GT to become the title sponsor of the Super GT x DTM Dream Race, while BH Auction, who entered into a partnership with Super GT in May, will host an auction for vintage automobiles and memorabilia during the weekend.
GTA Chairman Bandoh said: “GTA has been discussing the integration of the technical regulations with ITR since 2010. It’s been a long and bumpy road; but, with everybody’s efforts, we were able to conduct a demo run at Hockenheim in 2017 and make people aware of ‘Class 1’ and Super GT.”
“Both GTA and ITR have been working steadily together to create the common technical regulations for ‘Class 1’. Having the common conviction that the same technical regulations could be established in Europe and Asia, we then developed detailed plans and held advanced discussions to establish regulations which help to unify, while also reducing costs.
“We are very pleased to be able to hold a race based on the ‘Class 1’ regulations in Japan and would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Chairman Berger and the manufacturers.
“We now wish to further develop our common technical regulations in order to gain the support and understanding of as many manufacturers as possible.”
“On behalf of the ITR and all the manufacturers represented in the DTM, I would like to thank Bandoh-san, the GTA, and the representatives of Fuji Speedway for their continued co-operation,” said ITR Chairman Berger.
“Our co-operation works so well because we share the same values: genuine, exciting motorsport is always our top priority. And that’s what we want to offer our fans in both Europe and Asia.”
“The ‘Dream Race’ in November marks another milestone in the partnership between GTA and ITR. In 2017, we hosted the first joint demo laps for Super GT and DTM cars at Hockenheim and Motegi. Last year, we introduced our common technical regulations. And this year, we will be racing together for the first time.”
“We’ll get our first taste of that at the DTM season finale in Hockenheim, in October, when we welcome three guest starters from Honda, Nissan and Lexus. Then the ‘Dream Race’ in Fuji will be the grand finale of our 2019 motorsport calendar.”
Ticket sales for the Super GT x DTM Dream Race will start this weekend.
Images courtesy of Fuji Speedway and the GT Association