As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the DTM has issued a revised calendar with the season due to start in August. A number of races in countries outside of Germany have been cancelled.
Two weeks ago, the first positive signs for the start of the 2020 DTM season began to appear. Now, it’s been confirmed that the series will kick-off with official testing at the Nurburgring on June 8 to 11. The test was originally scheduled earlier this year at Monza, Italy, but had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier this week, DTM issued an updated calendar with ten rounds, starting at the Norisring. However, only two days later, the city of Nuremberg announced it would not grant the necessary permission for the races to take place at the German street track. “The decision not to grant governmental permission for the DTM races at the Norisring came as a surprise to us” commented Marcel Mohaupt, CEO ITR. “However, we respect the decision by the City of Nuremberg. For the DTM, too, the safety of everyone involved has the highest priority.”
As a result of this, the season will now start at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium on the 1st and 2nd of August. It will be the first time the series has visited the famous Belgian Formula 1 circuit since 2005, with multiple drivers commenting on social media it’s a ‘dream coming true’ to race at Spa with a DTM car.
Next on the calendar, is a back to back weekend at the Lausitzring. Meaning, the German track will host four races in the weekends: the 14th-16th of August and 21st-23rd. Two weeks later, the series will head to Assen, in the Netherlands. It will be the second time visiting the Dutch track after their successful debut there last year.
The Assen race weekend will be the first of a triple-header, before the series then moves to the Nurburgring for another back to back pair of weekends. The first weekend, the 11th-13th of September, will see the teams race on the full Grand Prix layout. Whereas the other race a week later, on the 18th-20th of September, will be on the shortened configuration.
Drivers then get a small three-week break, before heading into the final phase of the season. Circuit Zolder in Belgium will host two rounds in October – the 9th-11th and 16th-18th. The season finale will take place at the traditional Hockenheimring on 6th-8th of November.
DTM has managed to plan a schedule of 9 rounds, focussing on rounds in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Unfortunately, this means a number of originally planned races have been dropped including the three new rounds in Italy, Sweden and Russia, as well as Brands Hatch. This all to reduce travelling.
ITR and experts have outlined a detailed infection protection plan, which is being continuously adapted to the current situation. At the moment, this also means that races take place without spectators. However, the situation and developments continue to be monitored carefully.
“We would like to thank our fans for their patience in the past weeks. But now, we are all the more happy to be able to present a well-prepared and varied calendar that promises plenty of racing action” commented Gerhard Berger, chairman ITR. “That is the result of the hard work by everyone involved in very special conditions. All in all, we have managed to come up with a compact calendar that was worth waiting for.”
This news especially important for Audi Sport, for who this year will be their last in the series. “Many thanks to Gerhard Berger, those responsible within the ITR and at the race tracks. As well as everybody else involved in making this happen. For us at Audi Sport, it is a major objective to compete in as many races as possible in our final DTM season” said Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Sport.
“Of course, it would be a dream if the finale at Hockenheim and perhaps also further races prior to that could be held in front of spectators. But now, first of all, we are anticipating the start of the season and we hope for spectacular television footage. Our goal is clear: we want to win as many races as possible, defend our titles and bid our farewell to the DTM fans with many great races.”
Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director said: “The presentation of the adapted DTM race calendar makes us anticipate the start of the season even more. I welcome the planning of back-to-back race weekends at the same venue. That also reflects maximum efficiency and planning stability. However, it is important for me to emphasise that we only can and want to have races when the general situation allows for it. And the concepts to do so are approved by the authorities and health and safety of everyone involved in the DTM can be guaranteed.”
Updated 2020 DTM calendar:
1-2 August: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
14-16 August: Lausitzring, Germany
21-23 August: Lausitzring, Germany
4-6 September: Assen, The Netherlands
11-13 September: Nurburging Grand Prix, Germany
18-20 September: Nurburgring Sprint, Germany
9-11 October: Zolder, Belgium
16-18 October: Zolder, Belgium
6-8 November: Hockenheimring, Germany