How American Racing Director Elkins shapes a DTM

( — With Scott Elkins, DTM has a true American race director in its ranks, who should provide a breath of fresh air in the 2022 season. As race directors in American motorsports usually keep the reins looser Than in the European racing series, Elkins will make up the GT3 Championship in style.

Flying begins with stand-up magic: Elkins affects DTM


DTM Austrian technical director Michael Riesel sees the new appointment also good because of the series’ cultural difference: “We had a tendency to over-organize things. We still do it because we are Germans, Austrians and Europeans. It’s very refreshing how he does things and how we can achieve them.”

But how can Nils Wittich’s successor, who turned Formula 1, make his mark on DTM? There is certainly no shortage of effort. Because despite the nine-hour time difference between Germany and California, he had several sleepless nights at the end of 2021 helping to shape the championship’s rulebook and streamlining paragraphs at the ITR’s comprehensive DTM regulations workshop.

Start the procedure based on the American model

“We have really invested a lot of time,” he says. “The way we started now has its roots in American racing. Now you can attack before the starting line. I spoke to Mr. [Gerhard] Berger spoke. We called it a steady start that still flies. We wanted to have that tension so that the drivers could immediately fight for positions.”

The flying start, common in NASCAR, IMSA and IndyCar races in the USA, has been significantly modified for the 2022 season. Last season, the captain was allowed to decide when the race should start in a starting lane based on the NASCAR Series model. The rule has been revised for the next season.

“The race director will take charge of that now,” explains DTM Principal Federic Elsner. Instead of paying attention to the incubator, the field reacts to traffic lights in the 2022 DTM season – like a standing start. As soon as the green appears, overtaking and swerving maneuvers are permitted. Elkins also had a role in changing this rule.

FCY procedure with initiation of modulation

In 2022 there will be a so-called Full Course Yellow (FCY), that is, a yellow stage in which the field does not gather behind the safety car, but suddenly reaches a speed of 80 km / h. This regulation was a red cloth for Berger for so long because he feared boredom, but Elkins found a simple solution that convinced the ITR chief: Then there’s the start of DTM formation, as the DTM calls it in the rulebook.

My name is Hawk

In the event of accidents, there will also be FCY phases in the 2022 season – with flying to resume Zoom

“For us, the whole yellow of the course was actually in vain — or a word we didn’t want to hear and use,” Elsner continues. “But Scott Elkins provided an interesting aspect: Despite the full yellow of the track, he wants to reshape the lineup afterwards.”

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Although the distances are not frozen, the FCY phase still makes sense: the scene can be quickly cleared because the vehicles do not have to be assembled behind the security vehicle.

Elkins is making an impact with his fresh ideas, and with his racing background in the US, he can offer new ways of thinking about DTM. The American, who also guards the rules in Formula E, has already made an impact on the starting topic. And a look across the pond proves that a little American input can’t hurt: Because the GT3 podium of the IMSA SportsCar Championship is always a guarantee of close racing.

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