DTM reviewing Zolder opener date clash with Spa WEC

DTM reviewing Zolder opener date clash with Spa WEC

The DTM says it is “currently reviewing” a date clash between the series’ opener at Zolder and the World Endurance Championship’s Spa round.

It is claimed the FIA World Council did not approve the DTM calendar for the 2020 season at the meeting in Paris last week because of an application by the Belgian Motorsport Association RACB over the prospect of two high-profile racing events taking place over April 23-26.

While Zolder is understood not to have an issue with the clash, it is believed Spa does, and the RACB has used its voting power over the clash.

The WEC’s 2019/20 calendar was put in place in August this year, with the DTM finalising most of its ’20 schedule the following month before later adding Igora Drive in Russia as a new addition.

The WEC’s prominence as an FIA world championship also plays a part in the DTM calendar being unapproved and the FIA prefers to avoid clashes between international series, despite DTM boss Gerhard Berger recently explaining some clashes are unavoidable.

“The ITR is currently reviewing the situation”, a spokesman of ITR told Autosport.

It is understood the DMSB – the German motorsport federation – is acting as a mediator to the RACB and a new calendar could be voted on remotely.

The DTM will now consider a new date for the race in Zolder, potentially by swapping slots between races, or both the WEC and DTM agree to the current clash.

The move is complicated by the DTM having a contractual agreement with Zolder to host the season opener, the place in which the first DTM race took place.

Lausitzring and Assen would appear to be the more logical alternatives to host the season opener should that contractual agreement be bypassed, due to their popularity with fans and lack of other racing events compared to the likes of the Nurburgring.

Simply moving Zolder’s date would prove complex.

Bringing the race forward a week would lead to a clash with Formula E’s Paris race in which Nico Muller and Robin Frijns will compete for Dragon Racing and Envision Virgin Racing respectively.

Muller’s priority is the DTM as he signed his Dragon deal after renewing his Audi factory contract, while Frijns’s priority is FE.

A move two weeks forward would lead to the ITR test at Monza on March 16-18 potentially having to be moved to accommodate Zolder.

If the DTM moved the race back a week, it would clash with Formula 1’s Dutch Grand Prix and FE’s South Korea race.

Two weeks back would lead to a clash with the Spanish Grand Prix and the DTM tries to avoid crossing over with F1, as it attempts to with other major international series.

Published at Mon, 09 Dec 2019 17:04:31 +0000

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