Audi Exits DTM, BMW Left to Race Against Itself

2 years, 11 months ago - 30 April 2020, autoevolution
Audi Exits DTM, BMW Left to Race Against Itself
DTM, short for Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, is a German touring car racing series that has been around in various forms since 1976.

At the center of the European racing scene for years, the series has seen big names like Aston Martin, Mercedes-AMG, Audi and BMW battle it out in incredible race track wars.

The series is currently facing possibly its most dire times. After Mercedes-AMG decided to leave the series after the 2018 season and focus on the up-and-coming Formula E, DTM was left with only two major competitors, Audi and BMW. As of next season, the Bavarians will be racing against themselves.

Audi announced on Monday, April 27, that after the conclusion of the 2020 season (currently postponed due to the health crisis) it will exit DTM.

There are two main reasons cited by the carmaker. The first is the need to focus more on becoming carbon-neutral carmaker, and the second the economic challenges it is currently facing because of the crisis. These reasons do not affect Audi's involvement in Formula E, though, as that will continue with even more force.

"Audi has shaped the DTM and the DTM has shaped Audi. This demonstrates what power lies in motorsport – technologically and emotionally," said in a statement Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi.

"With this energy, we're going to drive our transformation into a provider of sporty, sustainable electric mobility forward. That's why we're also focusing our efforts on the race track and systematically competing for tomorrow's 'Vorsprung. Formula E offers a very attractive platform for this. To complement it, we're investigating other progressive motorsport formats for the future."

Over the year, Audi won 23 DTM titles (11 of them drivers' titles), and scored 114 victories and 345 podium finishes.

It's unclear for now how the 2021 season of the DTM will look like. With only one constructor left, the organizers of the series are now trapped between the proverbial rock and the very hard place.