DTM has once again made some small adjustments to the weekend schedule, when the 2019 season starts on the first weekend of May.
All the races during the season will start at 13.30 local time, which only will give an impact on the starting time for the European viewers, when the series goes to Brands Hatch, which will be on 14.30 European time.
That results in the series going away from that night race, that was held in Misano in Italy in 2018. It gave a different feeling for the spectators and TV viewers, but the series was unlucky with rain and a track that just wasn’t as lit up as the Formula 1 circuits, giving the drivers a lot of challenges. Furthermore, a race start of 22.30 is a really difficult time for both spectators and TV viewers, since it’s a non-traditional timeslot – and how many spectators actually have the time/possibility to be present, when you have to be back at work Monday morning…?
Another important change is the removal of the free practice sessions on Saturday and Sunday. The series will have so many support categories this year, that there simply isn’t any room left to do 30 minutes of practice each day. The drivers will instead have two practice sessions on Friday, but will have to jump straight into the car for qualifying on both Saturdays and Sundays, without a single lap from earlier in the day. There is one exception though, and that will be the two-day event at Brands Hatch, so one practice will be run each day, ahead of the qualifying.
The DTM series will have a mix of W Series, Formula European Masters, Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, Belcar Endurance Championship, Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup, Lotus Cup Europe, BOSS GP, and Tourenwagen Classics as support races this year, at various rounds. The only fixed series throughout all nine weekends are Formula European Masters, which are the now retired European F3 cars. That series is run by ITR too – the organisation behind DTM.
W Series, which is the new race series for female drivers only, will be DTM’s support race at the first six rounds of the year, before they go out on their own tour for the rest of the year.
The opening weekend of DTM 2019 will be run from 3 to 5 May at the Hockenheimring.