‘Too early’ to discuss DTM’s return to popular Imola

Imola became the fifth Italian venue to host the DTM Tour, with Team Abt Audi winning both races at the hands of Rene Rast and Ricardo Feller.

Although chances of overtaking on a classic garden path were few and far between without significant tire offsets, such as those used by Mirco Bortolotti For climbing from 16th to third in the first race, the track’s introduction to the calendar was widely praised.

“Imola is a great circuit and I think there hasn’t been a single driver on the whole circuit who wasn’t happy to race here,” Red Bull Ferrari boss Ron Reichert told Motorsport.com.

“It’s amazing to be here, it’s a really great circuit. All the atmospheres you create here are so different from the other circuits, so it’s a pleasure to be here.”

When asked if he’d like Imola back, Grasser Racing Lamborghini president Gottfried Grasser told Motorsport.com: “Absolutely, 100%. Personally it’s a very nice event. I really like it here, for sure.”

HRT Mercedes team boss Uli Fritz told Motorsport.com that the passing difficulties did not detract from his team’s enjoyment of the event.

“We’ve seen that the track probably doesn’t fit into an exciting racing format 100%, because you can’t really overtake here, especially if the BOP is perfectly balanced,” he said.

“So for the spectators, it’s not the greatest race, but the drivers love it and the teams love it.”

Ricardo Feller, Team ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3, Arjun Maini, Team Mercedes-AMG HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3

Ricardo Feller, Team ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3, Arjun Maini, Team Mercedes-AMG HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3

Photo by: DTM

But when asked by Motorsport.com if he was actually planning on becoming a permanent player on the calendar, Berger said: “Honestly, I don’t know.

“Right now we’re putting our calendar for next year together, and I don’t yet have the facts on paper to say, ‘Here we are, and here we are not.

“It’s a question of ‘is it a good circuit, is it important to us as a country, is it beyond possibility, is it good for TV, what calendar date we get,’ so it’s all completely open for now.”

“If it was Imola or Monza or Misano, Vallelonga, I don’t know. It’s too early to talk about this.”

Berger said ITR “needs to study more of Italy” to understand whether it would be better to have a regular base in one location or to navigate around the various Italian routes, having visited Monza in 2021.

“We still have to understand what to do,” he explained.

“When I was young, Italy was the Mecca of motorsports. At this moment it is very difficult not to [for] Formula 1 to get people here, but we will work on that.”

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Speaking at the press conference after finishing third, two-time DTM champion Marco Whitman He suggested that adding a guest driver to the field would attract more spectators.

In 2019, he was the then Ducati Motorcycle Driver Andrea Dovizioso He raced an Audi in Misano, while the year before the famous Alex Zanardi presented his series arc at the same spot.

“If we go back, I think we need to work on getting more fans to the ringside,” said Whitman, who added his support for the “pretty cool” design.

“I don’t know if we can get such stars in the DTM as Valentino Rossi for example, I think the DTM needs to work because obviously you can run in front of the big crowd.”

Villiers also supported a return to Imola, but suggested changing the start time earlier in the day or later to avoid the sweltering heat would be more attractive to viewers.

“I think there weren’t a lot of comers as if we ran the race a little earlier or later because it was so hot,” he said.

“I can understand that it’s not best to stand on the side of the track when it’s hot.

“But the track definitely has something in it. It is one of my favourites, especially since I think it is the favourite in Italy, so it is good that DTM is coming to Imola.”