DTM announces complete ban on team orders for 2022 season

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The German’s category first campaign under GT3 rules ended in controversial circumstances last year after Mercedes orchestrated a swap between its three leading drivers at the Norisring, asking Lucas Auer and Philip Ellis to slow down and make way for championship hopeful Maximilian Gotz.

This allowed Gotz, who was 22 points adrift of standings leader Liam Lawson heading into the finale, to come through and clinch an unlikely title.

In the immediate aftermath of the race, DTM boss Gerhard Berger promised a solution for 2022, hinting that team orders will be banned again after the series previously deemed that such a rule wouldn’t be needed in what is now a customer-based series.

The ban on team orders has now been confirmed by the series.

“Teams and drivers who influence the race action by means of a team order, may face exclusion from the championship in future,” read a statement from the series.

While the DTM didn’t explicitly mention what all parties will be barred from giving instructions to drivers in the same statement, a copy of the sporting regulations sent to Germany’s motorsport governing body for approval states that “no sponsor, supplier, company or affiliate, including any manufacturer (brand), importer or their agent, is permitted to contract, impose or attempt to impose a team order on any driver or Entrant.”

Apart from the outright ban on team orders, the DTM has announced several other changes to the sporting regulations for 2022, when the series expects at least 25 full-time entries – up from 19 in 2021.

As part of a new rule, a maximum of two mechanics must change the tyres on the rear axle before the front wheels can be changed. 

This has been introduced in response to AF Corse’s radical technique in 2022 where a mechanic would remove the front tyre first, sprint to the other side to perform a full rear wheel change, before putting on a new front wheel.

This technique couldn’t be adopted by teams running cars from BMW, Audi and Lamborghini as their homologated cars do not come with a locking ring attached to the wheels.

The DTM added that it will now allow teams to complete their mandatory pitstops under the safety car, thus negating any risk they could face by extending their opening stint, while also announcing that the series is working on introducing full-course yellows.

Changes have also been made to the starting procedure, with the race director – and not the leading driver – determining when the race gets underway during a rolling start.

Under previous regulations, the DTM prescribed a ‘starting corridor’, a short passage on the track that extends from the 10th row on the grid until the start line. “After entering the start corridor, the leader can accelerate at a time of his choosing. Overtaking the leader is allowed from the start line.”

The German category will also award a point for fastest lap in 2022, similar to Formula 1 and Formula E.

It also said that Balance of Performance (BoP) can now be adjusted at any time and until the final race of the season to allow for any adjustments. 

Additional reporting by Sven Haidinger

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