Both BMW and Audi have admitted they need to evaluate their futures in DTM following Mercedes-Benz’s shock decision to quit the German touring car championship.
The automaker’s decision to switch its focus towards Formula E will leave the DTM grid in 2019 without any Mercedes cars for the first time since 1987, leaving BMW and Audi to battle it out.
Speaking to Autosport, Audi motorsport Dieter Gass admitted Mercedes-Benz’s decision to quit is a loss for the sport.
“We regret the decision of Mercedes-Benz to retire from DTM after the 2018 season. The consequences for Audi and the series are not clear at the moment.
“For Audi, being part of international top touring car sport is a vital part of its works motorsports strategy. We now have to analyse the new situation with everybody involved in order to find a solution or possible alternatives to DTM,” he said.
These sentiments were echoed by BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt who said, “It is with great regret that we acknowledge Mercedes’ departure after the 2018 DTM season. We now need to evaluate this new situation.”
While the DTM grid will only have BMW and Audi cars after 2018, the sport can survive. In fact, from 2006 to 2012, Mercedes and Audi were the only two manufacturers competing. As times change and automakers shift their focus to electric production vehicles however, it remains to be seen if BMW and Audi will consider DTM a viable investment in the years ahead.