With thanks to our friend and colleague Geinou of RacingBlog.de, who covered this weekend’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) final round and Autobacs Super GT Series Show Run at the Hockenheimring in Badem-Württemberg, Germany, here is the transscript of Sunday morning’s joint press conference by ITR president Gerhard Berger, and GTA chairman Masaaki Bandoh.
There was a great deal of anticipation in the air on Friday morning at the historic Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, as the cars of the Autobacs Super GT Series completed a successful first test at race speed in the lead up to opening practice for this weekend’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) season finale.
Four-time GT500 Drivers’ Champion Ronnie Quintarelli, aboard the 2016 #1 Motul Autech NISMO GT-R, joined reigning GT500 champion Heikki Kovalainen, in the 2016 #093 TRD Lexus LC500 Test Car, for the first of two thirty-minute demonstration runs of the weekend.
In the session, Super GT’s challenge to the DTM was laid down – as Kovalainen recorded an unofficial lap time of 1:29.8, nearly two seconds faster than the best time set in the subsequent DTM free practice session.
Defending GT500 Drivers’ Champion Heikki Kovalainen and four-time GT500 champion Ronnie Quintarelli have been selected to run for their respective manufacturers, as the Autobacs Super GT Series brings their machines to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) season finale at the Hockenheimring circuit in Germany this weekend.
F1 hero Kovalainen will drive the 2016-spec Lexus LC500 Super GT test vehicle, while four-time champ Quintarelli will drive the Motul Autech NISMO GT-R that he raced last season to third in the championship.
After over three years of negotiations and stalemates, the cars of the Autobacs Super GT Series and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) will run on the same track in the same weekend, as both series have announced demonstration runs at each other’s 2017 championship finales.
It begins on October 14 & 15 at the Hockenheimring Circuit in Germany, where the 2017 Lexus LC500 Super GT and the 2016 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 will do demonstration runs at race speed on the weekend where the DTM crowns its champions.
Then, on November 11 & 12 at the Motegi GT Grand Final at Twin Ring Motegi, the DTM will send a selection of cars to do a similar demonstration run – giving fans on both sides of the Eurasian continent an idea of what to expect when both series finally lock horns under the unified Class One regulations.