Former DTM race winner Altfrid Heger says the series must adopt GTE cars from next season if it is to survive the effects of Audi’s withdrawal.
Audi announced it will leave DTM at the conclusion of the current season late last month, thus leaving fellow German powerhouse BMW as the categories sole manufacturer.
There is now strong concern that the series will become extinct if it does not open up its current iteration of technical regulations to allow other GT manufacturers to join the series from next season.
Heger, who claimed two race wins with BMW during his five-season stint between 1988 and 1992, says the best alternative to ensure the series can avert its demise is to switch to a GTE platform of car, like those currently raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“Audi’s withdrawal is not a knockout for the DTM,” Heger told Motorsport.com. “This is a chance for a promising new beginning. It is still possible to change the technical and sporting regulations in a forward-looking way.
“Cars like a Porsche  RSR, a Chevrolet Corvette, an Aston Martin or a Ferrari would certainly be the right transition for the DTM. These GT cars are currently the icing on the cake in the WEC. And they are within easy reach.
“That’s why I would see these cars as customer cars in the DTM at the moment, perhaps in conjunction with the Class One cars. They might even run together for a year or two.”
DTM considered a switch to a GTE platform back in 2018 when it attempted to a negotiate a deal to align the series with the Super GT category, but the plans ultimately fell through.
However, Heger added that any move to GTE would only be a temporary solution to DTM’s dilemma. Instead, the series must then develop a completely new formula of machine that is not overly reliant on manufacturers, nor too costly to deter the interest of privateer outfits.
“By the middle of the 2020s a completely new concept for the DTM must be developed,” he added.
“In my opinion, the concept for the ITR must be roaring engines, interesting silhouettes, and also offers well-off private or professional teams the opportunity to participate.
“Our problem is that it will be difficult in the future to pursue motorsports with manufacturer dependence because of the political situation, but also from the manufacturer’s side.
“And that’s where the ADAC with the GT Masters has a big advantage over the DTM. Although it has cars that are built by manufacturers, the series is not manufacturer-dependent.”
The opening round of the 2020 DTM championship is slated to go ahead on July 10-12 from the Norisring.