Although the German-based championship is going through a major overhaul in 2021 after ditching the Class One ruleset, it is carrying forward its previous format of two races per weekend, each lasting 55 minutes plus a lap.
However, concerns were raised by the Walkenhorst BMW team about cars being able to cover the full distance at a power-sensitive track like Monza due to an aggressive Balance of Performance set by the DTM, which significantly pushes up the fuel consumption.
As a result, the DTM says it has taken a ‘proactive measure’ by cutting short both Monza races by five minutes and dropping the extra lap, ensuring drivers can make it to the finish without having to resort to excessive fuel-saving.
Walkenhorst claimed drivers would have missed the chequered flag by several laps if the race distance was not altered and the BoP not adjusted in order to achieve better fuel mileage.
“The 2021 DTM stands for powerful GT race cars, an open competition of the world-class drivers and spectacular races. That has priority,” said Frederic Elsner, Director Event & Operations of DTM promoter ITR. “Therefore, we are playing it safe and, in view of the altered regulations and the premiere at this unique high-speed track, have adapted the race duration.”
The DTM is making its first-ever visit to Monza this year as part of an eight-round calendar split equally between Germany and the rest of Europe.
The dates for seven of those rounds have already been confirmed, while the prestigious Norisring street event – originally scheduled for July – has been indefinitely postponed in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The series has attracted a strong field of drivers for its first season using GT3 cars, with Class One regulars like Marco Wittmann, Lucas Auer, Timo Glock and Nico Muller joined by a host of GT3 specialists including Nurburgring 24 Hours winner Kelvin van der Linde and Maximilian Gotz.
Mercedes drivers Gary Paffett and Daniel Juncadella are returning to the series after two seasons away in other categories, while Red Bull trio Alex Albon, Liam Lawson and Nick Cassidy are some of the star attractions of the 2021 field.